Last updated 3 August 2021 - 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 toData sources section
- 11. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
This page will not be updated with 2020 data. This is because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reweighting the data we use for this page, to account for the effects of population changes and COVID-19 on labour market statistics.
- 76% of working age people (16 to 64 year olds) in England, Scotland and Wales were employed in 2019
- 78% of White people were employed, compared with 66% 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 by 5 percentage points between 2004 and 2019
- the highest employment rate in 2019 was in the White Other ethnic group (83%)
- the lowest employment rate was in the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group (56%)
- between 2004 and 2019, the biggest employment rate increases were in the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group (from 44% to 56%) and the White Other ethnic group (from 71% to 83%)
- the highest employment rates for most ethnic groups were generally in the South and East of England – the lowest were generally in the North of England, Scotland, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the number and percentage of people in England, Scotland and Wales who are employed.
Percentages are worked out using the total working age population (people aged 16 to 64 years).
Someone is classed as employed if they:
- 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, tables and commentary are rounded to whole numbers, but have been worked out with unrounded figures.
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
- how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole group being studied
In the data file
See Download the data for estimates:
- by region, age group and sex over time for detailed ethnic groups
- for each 3-month period for the White and Other than White ethnic groups since 2001
- 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||56|
|Asian Other||58||60||60||61||64||63||59||not collected||60||59||62||64||63||64||64||65|
|White British||74||74||74||74||74||72||72||not collected||72||73||74||75||75||76||76||77|
|White Other||71||73||74||75||75||74||74||not collected||75||76||77||79||80||81||82||83|
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||34|
|Asian Other||34||32||32||31||33||28||22||not collected||23||24||24||27||27||29||29||31|
|White British||63||62||61||61||59||56||54||not collected||53||54||55||58||58||59||58||58|
|White Other||56||62||65||61||63||57||55||not collected||48||51||49||55||56||55||53||59|
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||73||84||74||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||72||64||85||71||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||77||69|
|Pakistani, Bangladeshi||56||57||59||58||47||54||53||68||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||61||52||53|
|Asian Other||65||61||72||65||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||59||57||70||77||63||55||58|
|Mixed||69||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||76||69||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||69||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||73||77||68||61||68|
|Other||63||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||75||66||44||55||55||77||68||52||56||50|
Summary of Employment By ethnicity and area Summary
10. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Note on corrections or updates
Higher-level figures may differ from those published by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics that use the Labour Force Survey.
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 the government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between censuses.
11. Download the data
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 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.