Last updated 5 March 2020 - see all updates
- 1. Main facts and figures
- 2. By ethnicity
- 3. By ethnicity over time (White and Other than White)
- 4. By ethnicity over time
- 5. By ethnicity and gender
- 6. By ethnicity and age
- 7. By ethnicity over time (16 to 24 year olds only)
- 8. By ethnicity and area
- 9. By ethnicity, disability and gender
- 10. Methodology
- 11. Data sources
- 12. Download the data
- 13. Related content
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
The ethnic categories used in this data
Data is shown for the following ethnic groups:
- Pakistani and Bangladeshi
- Asian Other (including Chinese)
- White British
- White Other
Data broken down by local authority is shown in the download files. For this data, the number of people surveyed was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories, so the data is broken down into the following 2 categories:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other than White – all other ethnic minorities
People whose ethnicity is not known are included in the figures for ‘All’.
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||%||Number of people employed|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity Summary
3. 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
4. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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
The Annual Population Survey is a continuous household survey. Most people are interviewed in person first, and later by telephone.
The sample is formed from:
- waves 1 and 5 of the Labour Force Survey (in which selected addresses are contacted every 3 months)
- 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. 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.
People 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 sample of approximately 275,000 people undergoes weighting at local authority level, using age and sex dimensions.
Weighting adjusts the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and make them more reliable.
For example, a survey of 25 women and 75 men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which is around 50% male and 50% female.
The weighting for this data is based on Office for National Statistics population statistics.
Download the data for confidence intervals for each ethnic group.
The data from the APS is based on a sample of the population in England, Wales and Scotland, rather than the whole population. The estimates obtained from this sample are reliable estimates but it’s impossible to be 100% certain of the true percentage for the whole population. For example it is estimated that 65.5% of people of working age in the Asian ethnic group were employed in 2018, with a 95% confidence interval of 64.1% to 66.9%.
This means that the actual employment rate is likely to be somewhere between 64.1% (lower confidence interval) and 66.9% (upper confidence interval). In statistical terms, this means that if 100 samples were taken, 95 times out of 100 the estimated Asian employment rate would be between 64.1% and 66.9%. But 5 times out of 100 it would fall outside this range.
The smaller the survey sample, the more uncertain the estimate and the wider the confidence interval. For example, the sample has less data for individuals from the Asian ethnic group than from the White ethnic group, so we can be less certain about the accuracy of the estimates for the Asian group. This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval compared with the White ethnic group (of between 76.6% and 77.2%).
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.
Estimates in the charts and tables are rounded to whole percentages. Estimates in the download file are rounded to 1 decimal place.
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
13. 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.