Length of time spent in unemployment
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1. Main facts and figures
the length of time that White people spent in unemployment is, on average, shorter than for people from all other ethnic groups
compared to White people, a higher percentage of people from all other ethnic groups were unemployed for 3 months or more, while a lower percentage were unemployed for 0 to 3 months
new data has been published for the year 2017 – this data isn’t currently reflected in the charts, tables and commentary on this page, but you can get a CSV file with the latest figures if you download the data
The ethnic categories used in this data
For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad groups:
- 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. Time spent in unemployment
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.
4. 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.
5. Download the data
This file contains data for the years 2004 to 2016. This is the data used in the charts, tables and commentary shown on this page. This file contains the following: length of time in unemployment, ethnicity, time, region, numerator, denominator, sample size, value and confidence intervals
This file contains data for the years 2004 to 2017. This is the latest data available, but does not reflect the figures shown in the charts, tables and commentary on this page. This file contains the following: length of time in unemployment, ethnicity, time, region, numerator, denominator, sample size, value and confidence intervals