New research on employment gap between white and BME communities in the West Midlands

Cover of briefing paper on employment and BME groups in the West MidlandsThere is a large gap between the employment rates of the white population and the black and minority ethnic (BME) population and this gap is bigger in the West Midlands than nationally.

74% of working age white people are in employment in the West Midlands (compared to 76% nationally), while 54% of working age BME people are in employment (compared to 60% nationally).

A new briefing paper (pdf, 761kb) from the Observatory’s economic inclusion research team explores the nature of this employment gap and other issues around minority ethnic groups and the labour market.

Download the briefing on employment and black and minority ethnic groups in the West Midlands (pdf , 761kb)

Other key findings highlighted by this research include:

  • 16% of the working age population are from a black or minority ethnic group. However 12% of those in employment are BME and 8% of managers/senior officials are BME.
  • There are considerable differences between the employment, unemployment and inactivity rates of different BME groups and between males and females from each group. For example, Indian males have an employment rate 15 percentage points higher than black/black British males in the West Midlands.
  • The biggest gaps in the employment rates between the West Midlands and England are amongst the Pakistani/Bangladeshi ethnic group. Employment rates for Pakistani/Bangladeshi males and females are more than 6 percentage points lower in the West Midlands than across England. Employment rates for black males in the region are also 6 percentage lower than nationally.
  • Nationally, over half of Pakistani/Bangladeshi people of working age are living in low income households. People from Pakistani/Bangladeshi groups are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty than working age people from white, Indian and black Caribbean communities.

The briefing paper (pdf, 761kb) follows the Economic Inclusion Baseline Report for the West Midlands, which was published in 2009 and highlighted the position of people from BME communities in the West Midlands’ labour market.

The briefing paper  examines the issues around BME communities in more detail and is part of a series of ‘spotlight reports’ looking at key issues around economic inclusion.

Other spotlight reports in the series can be downloaded from the Observatory’s economic inclusion research publications and include:

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