Covid crisis leads to ‘sharp rise’ in black youth unemployment

Tom Ambrose
·2-min read
<p>Young black people have been hardest hit by unemployment during the pandemic, new research indicates</p> (PA Wire)

Young black people have been hardest hit by unemployment during the pandemic, new research indicates

(PA Wire)

Young black people have been the hardest hit by the rise in unemployment during the pandemic, the economic think tank Resolution Foundation has warned.

It said young people had faced the worse of job losses because they disproportionately worked in sectors such as hospitality and leisure, which have been badly affected by lockdowns.

The UK jobless rate for young black people rose by more than a third to 35 per cent in the past 12 months, the think tank said.

For young Asian and young white people, unemployment increased by three per cent to 24 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

Kathleen Henehan, a senior research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The furlough scheme has done a fantastic job of minimising job losses amidst unprecedented shutdowns of our economy.

“But young people have still experienced a sharp rise in unemployment during the Covid-19 crisis - with recent education-leavers and young black people being hardest hit.

“This pandemic has created a highly generationally unequal unemployment surge and widened pre-existing gaps between different ethnic groups.

“Young people have sacrificed their livelihoods in order to save the lives of others from Covid-19, and putting their careers back on track must be a priority for government in the months and years ahead.”

The foundation also said Covid had widened existing gaps between ethnic groups.

It added: “The rise in youth unemployment is not just about those losing their jobs, but also about young people not finding work in the first place.

“Those who left education just before or during the crisis - the so-called class of 2020 - have faced particular difficulties, with unemployment rising fastest among those who recently left education.

“Having a degree has not protected recent graduates from this effect.”

By the end of 2020, joblessness among young black graduates had increased to 34 per cent, up from 22 per cent prior to the pandemic.

The rate was almost three times that of white graduates during the same period (13 per cent) and Asian graduates (24 per cent).

It found that between April to June and July to September 2020, the unemployment rate among 18 to 24-year-olds rose from 11.5 per cent to 13.6 per cent.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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