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Worklessness by ethnicity group

Proportion of London's working-age population who are not in paid work by ethnic group (2013 Q3, 2020 Q1 and 2023 Q3)

The picture today

People of Pakistani/Bangladeshi background have the highest rates of not being in paid work, with 41.2% of the working-age population not working, followed by people of Black ethnic background (37.7%).

White people have the lowest rate of being out of work (20.4%) followed by people of Indian background at 23.1%.

How this has changed over time

Every major ethnic group in London has seen a fall in the proportion of people who are not in paid work in the decade up to June 2023. In 2013, almost half of Londoners of Pakistani/Bangladeshi background were not in paid work (49.3%), down to 41.2% today.

People of Black ethnic background have had the smallest fall in the proportion of people not in work in the last decade (2 percent points).

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of being out of work rose for people of Pakistani/Bangladeshi, Black, Mixed and White background.

*The definition of worklessness used here includes unemployment as well as many types of economic inactivity including looking after the family/home, students, long term and temporary sickness etc. (see Reasons for not working for a full list of these groups). Therefore because of the large size of this group of people, the changes in unemployment caused by COVID-19 would not be expected to make large differences to this indicator.