Black and minority ethnic workers have been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis – more likely to be in insecure work, more likely to be on the frontline, and tragically more likely to die from the disease.
This week, official statistics show they were also significantly more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic.
The unemployment rate for BME workers rose by 31% over the past year from 6.1% to 8%. This is compared to an 11% increase among white workers, from 3.6% to 4%.
“BME workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic. They’ve been more likely to be in low-paid, insecure work and have been put at greater risk from the virus. They’ve also been more likely to work in industries that have been hit hard by unemployment, like hospitality and retail,” Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we can’t allow these inequalities in our jobs market to continue.”
The TUC called for ministers to create “good new jobs”, challenge discrimination in the workplace, and extend the furlough scheme.