- 1. Main facts and figures
- 2. Employment by ethnicity
- 3. Employment by ethnicity (White and Other)
- 4. Employment by ethnicity over time
- 5. Employment by ethnicity and gender
- 6. Employment by ethnicity and age
- 7. Employed 16 to 24 year olds by ethnicity over time
- 8. Employment by ethnicity and area
- 9. Methodology
- 10. Data sources
- 11. Download the data
- 12. Related content
1. Main facts and figures
since 2004, employment has gone up across all ethnic groups; 2016 saw the highest rate of employment, with 74% of the overall population employed (around 29.5 million people)
in 2016, a larger percentage of White British and White ethnic minority groups were employed than the other ethnic groups combined
in the same year, 64% of people from other ethnic groups were employed (compared to 74% of people from White groups) ?– an increase of 1 percentage point since 2015, and the highest percentage since 2004
the ‘employment rate gap’ – the difference between the employment rate for the whole population and that for ethnic minority groups (excluding White ethnic minorities) – has decreased over time, from 15 percentage points in 2004 to 10 percentage points in 2016
employment rates are lower for ethnic minority groups (excluding White ethnic minorities) than the overall population across the country, with a larger gap in the North than in the South (13.2 percentage points compared to 9.0 percentage points)
The ethnic categories used in this data
Where possible, data is broken down into 9 groups:
- White British
- White Other
- Other Asian
- Other ethnic groups
However, in cases where the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories, the data is broken down into:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
People whose ethnicity is 'Unknown' (because their ethnicity was not recorded or they chose not to state their ethnicity) are counted in measurements for ‘All’ groups, such as all people in employment. However they are not counted where data is broken down by White and Other.
2. Employment by ethnicity
3. Employment by ethnicity (White and Other)
4. Employment by ethnicity over time
5. Employment by ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Women %||Women Employed people||Men %||Men Employed people|
|Asian - Indian||64||350,000||81||478,000|
|Asian - Other||55||243,000||72||270,000|
|Asian - Pakistani/Bangladeshi||35||197,000||72||440,000|
|White - British||71||11,086,000||79||12,311,000|
|White - Other||73||1,126,000||88||1,267,000|
6. Employment by ethnicity and age
|Ethnicity||16-24 %||16-24 Employed people||25-49 %||25-49 Employed people||50-64 %||50-64 Employed people|
7. Employed 16 to 24 year olds by ethnicity over time
8. Employment by ethnicity and area
|Ethnicity||East Midlands||East of England||London||North East||North West||Scotland||South East||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorkshire and The Humber|
|Indian||70||73||76||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||64||69||78||83||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||70||66|
|Pakistani/Bangladeshi||53||54||54||55||55||61||60||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||50||54|
|Asian other||60||71||66||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||57||49||66||68||52||50||60|
|Black||68||72||69||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||59||61||68||62||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||60||75|
|Mixed||60||74||63||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||68||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||72||60||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||56||61|
|Other||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||68||63||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||55||56||66||69||54||57||50|
The Annual Population Survey is a continuous household survey. Most people are interviewed in person first, and later by telephone. The sample is formed partly from waves 1 and 5 of the Labour Force Survey (in which selected addresses are contacted every 3 months) and partly from boost cases that are in the sample for 4 waves, spread one year apart.
Participants are randomly selected from the Royal Mail Postcode address File (PAF). The NHS communal accommodation list is also used and (in the case of remote parts of Scotland) telephone directories. All eligible individuals found at the selected address may be interviewed. Individuals are included in the dataset for this analysis if they respond themselves or if a family member responds on their behalf. The complex survey design has been taken into account when calculating confidence intervals.
The achieved sample of approximately 275,000 undergoes weighting which is structured at local authority level and uses age and sex dimensions.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
The Office for National Statistics population estimates and projections are used as the basis for this weighting process.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
In data covering all ethnic groups together, estimates based on sample sizes of less than 30 have been suppressed. For data broken down by ethnic groups, estimates based on sample sizes under 100 have been suppressed.
‘Suppression’ means these figures have not been included in the data, to protect confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.
10. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between Censuses.
11. Download the data
This file contains employment rates by ethnicity, time, gender, local authority area and age, with numerator, denominator, sample size and confidence intervals
Year, ethnic group, region, age group, gender, numerator, denominator, value, confidence interval, sample size
12. Related content
Employment by occupation
The Indian ethnic group had the highest percentage of workers in professional occupations (31%) in 2017.
9% of Black people were unemployed in 2018, compared with 4% of White people.
Employment by sector
The public administration, education and health sector employed the highest percentage of workers in nearly every ethnic group in 2017.