Highly educated British blacks and Asians are disadvantaged at work

Although it comes from poorest economic circles on average, the children of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black Caribbean immigrants have a higher level of education than the white majority.
But that hasn’t fully translated into success in the job market, according to one report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an independent research organization specializing in public policy analysis.
“After leaving school, [second-generation ethnic minorities] are less likely to have a job and certain ethnic groups are less likely to advance to managerial / professional positions than the white majority, ”IFS said in a declaration announcing the findings of the report.

The employment gap remains a problem even when comparing families from similar economic backgrounds, despite increasingly pronounced educational differences.

For example, second-generation working-class Indian, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women are more than 20 percentage points more likely to graduate from higher education, which includes undergraduate and graduate degrees. graduate, as their white British peers from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds, and Indian and men are over 30 percentage points more likely to do so. Yet they do not fare as well as their white British peers in the workforce.

“We should celebrate their remarkable success in education, but ask tough questions about why this doesn’t translate into equal success in the world of work,” said Lucinda Platt, professor at the London School of Economics and co-author of the report, which uses UK census data spanning 40 years to track results across generations within families. The latest data available on these families dates from 2011.

The report, which is part of a broader review inequality, comes just days after the Confederation of British Industry, Britain’s largest economic pressure group, co-signed a letter calling on the UK government to introduce mandatory reporting of the ethnic pay gap.
The letter, also signed by the Congress of Trade Unions and the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, said reports on pay gaps linked to ethnicity “would allow employers to identify, examine and overcome the particular obstacles facing women workers. ethnic minorities in their workplace ”, and go beyond recommendations made earlier this year government commission on racial and ethnic disparities in the UK.

“We can be quite confident that there is discrimination in the labor market,” Platt told CNN Business, adding that this problem “has clearly not been resolved” and that the release of data on the labor gap. ethnic pay might help.

But discrimination isn’t the only factor behind poor labor market outcomes, according to Platt.

“We know that, especially for better jobs, things like social media can be important,” she said. The dynamics of local labor markets, which determine the types of jobs available, may also play a role as ethnic minorities are “fairly clustered” in particular areas, she added.

“Attempts at oversimplification by attributing the worst labor market outcomes to disadvantaged backgrounds on the one hand, or discrimination on the other hand, fail to recognize that both are relevant,” she said. .

Lawmakers in the UK’s ruling Conservative Party have been accused of instrumentalizing inequalities in the education system to fuel a culture war after supporting a parliamentary meeting report published earlier this month under the headline “The Forgotten: How White Working Class Students Were Abandoned and How to Change It”.

The paper claims that the prevalence of the term “white privilege” following the Black Lives Matter protests may have contributed to “systemic neglect of struggling whites.”

According to the IFS report, only 16% of Indians, 7% of Pakistanis, 5% of Bangladeshis and 14% of second-generation black Caribbean ethnic minorities who reached adulthood in 2011 were from advantaged backgrounds, compared to 29% of white Britons. people.

“To portray the poor academic performance of poor white children as a white disadvantage is misleading,” Platt said, commenting on the parliamentary report. “If you are a poor white boy, you will not be at a disadvantage in the labor market compared to poor people from ethnic minorities,” she added.

– Luke McGee contributed reporting.

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