Increase in unemployment rates of young and ethnic minority people

Young people have seen the worst rise in unemployment during the pandemic, according to new research, with young black workers nearly twice as likely as others of the same age to be unemployed. A report from the Resolution Foundation has found that in the last quarter, the unemployment rate among 18 to 24-year-olds has increased from 11.5% to 13.6% – the highest quarterly rise since 1992.

The report said the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on young people was likely because they were overrepresented in the sectors hardest hit by the crisis, including hospitality and leisure. It goes on to report that while the furlough scheme has sought to minimise job losses, the pandemic has created a generationally unequal unemployment surge, and widened pre-existing gaps between different ethnic groups. The report’s authors is calling on the Government to expand and extend its Kickstart scheme for young people, and to ensure those from hard-hit ethnic backgrounds have access to the scheme, alongside quality education and training options as well as financial support for full-time study.

Young people and minority ethnic workers were disproportionately more likely to be in less secure employment before the pandemic, such as zero-hours or fixed-term contracts, or cash-in-hand jobs and these kinds of jobs are less likely to have been protected by furlough. It is argued that a job support and creation schemes could be put in place to help people find high-quality, secure jobs, and income support to help those who can’t find employment.

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