Black men hardest hit by rise in youth unemployment, says TUC

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Rising youth unemployment has become a major issue in recent years, with the inclusion in the workplace of young people taking a major hit since the start of the economic downturn.

But according to a report released this week by the TUC, it seems that the rise in the jobless rate among young people in recent years has had an amplified effect on certain ethnic minorities, with young black men suffering in particular.

The organisation’s analysis of official government data shows that one in four (26 per cent) black men aged between 16 and 24 are currently unemployed, having risen from 14 per cent in 2002.

This compares to an unemployment rate of 16 per cent for both white and Asian males (both up from ten per cent in 2002).

The analysis also shows that men in the 16 to 24-year-old age group are more likely to be unemployed than women across all ethnic groups, though the gender divide is starkest among white and black youngsters.

Among young women, meanwhile, Asian women have experienced the sharpest rise in unemployment over the last decade, rising from six per cent in 2002 to 13 per cent in 2012.

The TUC argues that government cuts to employment support and education are largely responsible for the figures.

For example, the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance and the abolition of college-based apprenticeships are likely to have played a key role in holding back education and employment prospects for young black men, said the organisation.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber commented: “Last week the prime minister singled out employment as a great success of the government. That’s cold comfort to the one in four young black men struggling for work, or the one in six jobless young black women.

“It’s shocking that with so many young people unable to find jobs, ministers have slashed support to help them get their careers off the ground.”

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