Life is getting worse for young black Britons, research shows

Equality watchdog slams 'piecemeal and stuttering' government response


The life chances of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds have gotten much worse over the last five years, according to the biggest ever review of race inequality in Britain.

The research, published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, shows that long-term unemployment among young BAME people has increased by 49 per cent since 2010, while for white people it has fallen slightly.

Overall unemployment for black people is 12.9 per cent, more than double the rate among people.

BME people are also less likely to occupy senior professional positions, and are more than twice as likely to be in insecure employment.

And although educational attainment is improving among ethnic minorities, those with degrees are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts, and earn 23.1 per cent less on average.

BME people are far more likely to be victims of crime, and to be treated more harshly by the criminal justice system — with a rate of prosecution and sentencing three times higher than that of the white population.

Race also remains the most common motivator of hate crime, and the post-Brexit spike raises particular concern.

‘The combination of the post-Brexit rise in hate crime and deep race inequality in Britain is very worrying and must be tackled urgently,’ commented David Issac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

‘Today’s report underlines just how entrenched race inequality and unfairness still is in our society. We must redouble our efforts to tackle race inequality urgently or risk the divisions in our society growing and racial tensions increasing.’

Despite welcoming Theresa May’s comments on the importance of tackling inequality, Issac criticised the previous government’s ‘‘piecemeal and stuttering’ approach to race equality, accusing it of offering ‘more one nation platitudes than policies’.

The report includes a series of policy recommendations, including the creation of ‘a comprehensive, coordinated and long-term UK Government strategy with clear and measurable outcomes to achieve race equality.’

It also suggests that UK should carry out a full-scale review of hate crime sentencing in England and Wales and take steps to mitigate discriminatory effects of recent access to justice reforms.

It also calls for attention to inequality in police behaviour — a major concern for many BME communities — recommending that monitoring, training and scrutiny be enhanced to ensure that stop-and-search is being used in a lawful and non-discriminatory way.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.

See also: Why Black Lives Matter blocked access to Heathrow

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6 Responses to “Life is getting worse for young black Britons, research shows”

  1. Robert Petulengro

    OK so black people seem to be doing badly.
    The way is actually wide open for them, if they choose to take it. Sport? Lots of jobs in government too – especially for black women. BBC?
    Lots of Muslims (men and women) get to be lawyers, doctors and people with degrees – not all by any means. But the way is open.
    White boys? Worst off of all.
    Chinese? WOW! Yup, they race ahead in education.

    After considerable thought, I reckon the answer lies in the “pushy” parents. If your Dad is just a sperm donor, then you have no role model outside the useless gang. If your Mum and Dad are Chinese, you have no option but to come first all the time.
    I don’t think it has got a lot to do with race: I think it has a lot to do with poverty and even more to do with your parents.

  2. Imran Kahn

    I know your name is Irish and how to pronounce it but perhaps you should have been named Naive! It is always necessary in journalism to look at the source of the story and the source here are organisations and individuals that have a financial interest in racial inequality being a fact. The line up on the Guardian’s website discussing this today is typical. Every one of those individuals has lived in some way off the fact that UK society is unequal and racist, hardly models of non partisanship.

    There is no BME or BAME community. These things were invented by what I will call the race relations industry in its many forms and exist in the minds of the race professionals such as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, The Institute of Race Relations, Operation Black Vote and the numerous other self appointed spokespersons for every ethnic minority in the country, most of whom have never even heard of them.

    I am going to take time off from my day job, or it could be a part of it reporting for the Indian media, into the whole affair as, anecdotally, I have not been able to find any spike in the incidents described and neither have family, friends or colleagues. I am mindful of the fact that the organisation Tell MAMA, the source of much of this, have had their Home Office grant cut because of what can only be described having a loose association with the truth. This one will run and run I am sure.

  3. David Davies

    Life is not exactly peachy if you are over 50 and out of work – whatever the colour of your skin. The Stasi take months to prevaricate over benefits at barely subsistence levels, then do their best to remove or reduce these by incessant `requests for clarification.’

    My ESA was reduced by £11.37/week as of 1st May, owing to a `change in circumstances’ – of which I am oblivous, and they refuse to explain. The rich don’t mind, and the poor don’t matter- no matter what Maggie May says.

  4. NHSGP

    So during the Brexit vote, we were constantly told that migrants were net contributors.

    The average uk resident is a net consumer for the simple reason there a deficit.

    Now you’re trying to say that migrants earn way less than average.

    Time to get your story straight

  5. MJW

    I share some of the same suspicions as Imran Khan above about the self-perpetuating commercial agenda of the ‘race relations’ industry. Professional ‘race relations’ operates within a model that tends to find reasons to keep it in work.

    I scanned the report and was very disappointed by how little it did to drill down into the superficial findings that appear to have been cherry picked to make good media fodder and set up particular facile conclusions, but we don’t get enough unpacking to start drawing out nuances which might actually be useful beyond setting up the next round of rent seeking from the professional race relations industry. We apparently “need a race relations strategy to heal divided Britain”, I wonder who is going to get paid to provide that? But I also wonder how they are going to do it without the crucial differentiations that have strangely been left out of this report? This could go on forever if we never even attempted to get to the bottom of things and instead just stick with a broad brush ‘racist society’ shtick, but then maybe that is the point?

    It’s simply not coherent to ascribe some of the findings to ‘racism’ without knowing more. What kind of ‘racism’ in the education system lead to more kids from a black Caribbean background being excluded than kids from black African or Asian backgrounds? What kind of racism in the system leads to poor white boys and black Caribbean boys doing worse than black African and Asian boys? Black graduates earn less than white graduates, is there a differences between black African and black Caribbean, what subjects did they study, what occupations are they in, what about those from Asian backgrounds? We need more nuanced information. We need more like for like comparisons to control for self-selection, and then we can draw out what extent is racism and what extent differences are diversity of choices.

  6. Imran Khan

    Naive. Would you like to enter into a discussion with us or are your lip sealed?

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