Length of time spent in unemployment
1. Main facts and figures
- in 2018, there were no real differences in the amount of time spent in unemployment between White people and those from the Other ethnic group (made up of all other ethnic groups combined)
The ethnic categories used in this data
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 groups combined
People whose ethnicity is not known are included in the figures for ‘All’.
2. By ethnicity
|All||White||Other than White|
|Duration||%||Number of people unemployed||%||Number of people unemployed||%||Number of people unemployed|
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 APS is based on a sample of the population in England, Wales and Scotland, rather than the whole population.
This page includes only reliable estimates ('statistically significant’) of the percentage of individuals who were unemployed. However, it’s impossible to be 100% certain of the true percentage.
For example, based on the APS results, it is estimated that 45% of unemployed people in the White ethnic group had been unemployed for less than 3 months in 2018. It’s 95% certain that somewhere between 42.6% and 47.4% of unemployed people in the White ethnic group had been unemployed for 0 to 3 months in 2018. In statistical terms, this is a 95% confidence interval. This means that if 100 random samples were taken, then 95 times out of 100 the estimate would fall between the lower and upper bounds of the confidence interval. 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 Other ethnic group than from the White ethnic group, so we can be less certain about the estimate for the smaller group. This greater uncertainty is expressed by a wider confidence interval of between 37.0% and 47.0% for the Other ethnic group compared with 42.6% and 47.4% for the White ethnic group in 2018.
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.
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 the following: Measure, Measure_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Time, Time_type, Region, Value, Confidence_interval, Numerator , Denominator, Sample_size