Last updated 7 September 2020 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity section
- 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time (White and Other than White) section
- 5. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time section
- 6. Navigate toBy ethnicity and gender section
- 7. Navigate toBy ethnicity and age section
- 8. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time (16 to 24 year olds only) section
- 9. Navigate toBy ethnicity and area section
- 10. Navigate toBy ethnicity, disability and gender section
- 11. Navigate toData sources section
- 12. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- 75% of working age people (people aged 16 to 64) in England, Wales and Scotland were employed in 2018
- 77% of White people were employed, compared with 65% of people from all other ethnic groups combined
- the difference in the employment rates between the White ethnic group and all other ethnic groups combined went down from 16 percentage points in 2004 to 12 percentage points in 2018
- the highest employment rate was in the Other White ethnic group, at 82%
- the lowest employment rate was in the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group, at 57%
- between 2004 and 2018, the biggest employment rate increases were in the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group (up by 13 percentage points) and the Other White ethnic group (up by 11 percentage points)
- the highest employment rates for most ethnic groups were generally found in the South and East of England and the lowest were generally found in the North of England and Scotland
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
This data measures the number and percentage of people in employment in England, Wales and Scotland.
Percentages are worked out using the total working age population (people aged 16 to 64 years).
A person of working age is counted as employed if they either:
- are in paid work, as an employee or self-employed
- have a job that they are temporarily away from, for example on holiday
- are on a government-supported training or employment programme
- are doing unpaid family work, for example working in a family business
Percentages in the charts and tables are rounded to whole numbers.
Not included in the data
The data does not include estimates based on fewer than:
- 30 survey respondents for data covering all ethnic groups together
- 100 survey respondents for data broken down by ethnicity
This is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to make reliable generalisations.
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.
Data is aggregated for the Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole.
Data is shown separately for White British people and all other White people (‘White Other’ ethnic group). Separate figures are also shown for 3 different Asian ethnic groups (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi combined, and Asian Other)
People whose ethnicity is not known are included in the figures for ‘All’.
Read the detailed methodology document for this data.
The Annual Population Survey updated its ethnicity questions in 2011. As a result, estimates from before and after 2011 may not be consistent, and data for individual ethnic groups in 2011 is not available.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed.
In the data file
See Download the data for estimates:
- by region for all ethnic groups since 2004
- for each 3-month period for the White and Other than White ethnic groups since 2001
- by local authority for the White and Other than White ethnic groups since 2004
- by disability for all ethnic groups since 2014
Download files also include:
- other characteristics such as age group and sex
- confidence intervals for each ethnic group – read how we use confidence intervals to demonstrate the reliability of survey estimates
- sample sizes
- estimates rounded to 1 decimal place
3. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||%||Number of people employed|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time (White and Other than White)
|All||White||Other than White|
|Year||All %||All Number of people employed||White %||White Number of people employed||Other than White %||Other than White Number of people employed|
|2011||70||27,546,800||not collected||not collected||not collected||not collected|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity over time (White and Other than White) Summary
5. By ethnicity over time
|Pakistani, Bangladeshi||44||44||45||45||46||47||46||not collected||48||49||52||53||54||55||57|
|Asian Other||58||60||60||61||64||63||59||not collected||60||59||62||64||63||64||64|
|White British||74||74||74||74||74||72||72||not collected||72||73||74||75||75||76||76|
|White Other||71||73||74||75||75||74||74||not collected||75||76||77||79||80||81||82|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity over time Summary
6. By ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||All %||All Number of people employed||Men %||Men Number of people employed||Women %||Women Number of people employed|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity and gender Summary
7. By ethnicity and age
|Ethnicity||16-24 %||16-24 Number of people employed||25-49 %||25-49 Number of people employed||50-64 %||50-64 Number of people employed||All %||All Number of people employed|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity and age Summary
8. By ethnicity over time (16 to 24 year olds only)
|Pakistani, Bangladeshi||33||35||36||30||34||32||30||not collected||30||28||32||35||32||32||37|
|Asian Other||34||32||32||31||33||28||22||not collected||23||24||24||27||27||29||29|
|White British||63||62||61||61||59||56||54||not collected||53||54||55||58||58||59||58|
|White Other||56||62||65||61||63||57||55||not collected||48||51||49||55||56||55||53|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity over time (16 to 24 year olds only) Summary
9. By ethnicity and area
|Ethnicity||All||East Midlands||East of England||London||North East||North West||Scotland||South East||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorkshire and The Humber|
|Indian||76||72||83||79||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||69||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||81||76||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||72||71|
|Pakistani, Bangladeshi||57||57||58||59||60||56||59||66||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||55||51|
|Asian Other||64||52||73||66||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||51||54||67||67||59||63||68|
|Mixed||67||61||73||68||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||62||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||76||71||76||57||69|
|Other||61||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||79||61||45||53||50||70||60||62||58||53|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity and area Summary
10. By ethnicity, disability and gender
|Ethnicity||All All (%)||All Disabled (%)||All Non-disabled (%)||Men All (%)||Men Disabled (%)||Men Non-disabled (%)||Women All (%)||Women Disabled (%)||Women Non-disabled (%)|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity, disability and gender Summary
11. 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.
12. Download the data
This file contains the following variables: Measure, Measure_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Time, Time_type, Region, Age, Age_type, Sex, Value, Confidence_interval, Numerator, Denominator, Sample_size
This file contains the following: Measure, Measure_type, Time, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Value.
This file contains the following variables: Measure, Measure_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Time, Time_type, Local_authority, Age, Value, Confidence_interval, Numerator, Denominator, Sample_size
This file contains the following: Measure, Measure_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Time, Time_Type, Region, Age, Age_Type, Sex, Disability, Value, Confidence_Interval, Numerator, Denominator, Sample_Size