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Highly skilled BAME workers more likely to work low paid job

BLACK, ASIAN and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are a third more likely to be underemployed than white workers, according to a new (Trades Union Congress) TUC report.

Citing official UK statistics in a report published today (Aug 22), the TUC says BAME workers face an underemployment rate of 15.3 per cent, compared to 11.5 per cent among white workers.

An underemployed person is one who is highly skilled but working in low paying jobs, workers who are highly skilled but working in low skill jobs and part-time workers who would prefer to be full time.

The research shows that if BAME workers faced the same rate as white workers, more than 110,000 would be lifted out of underemployment.

The TUC analysis comes the week after the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that BAME workers also face higher unemployment rates, lower pay, and are underrepresented in senior roles.

The findings are released as part of a TUC submission to the McGregor-Smith Review, a government consultation on “developing black and minority ethnic talent”.

Commenting on the figures, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Underemployment is a major problem in the UK, and it only gets worse if you’re black, Asian, or part of any ethnic minority. This is not only wrong, but a massive waste of talent too.

“We know this is part of a much bigger story. BAME workers are more likely to be unemployed, paid less, and aren’t getting enough of the top jobs."

O’Grady added: “Employers and the government cannot afford to ignore these problems. They must now take real action to tackle underemployment and pay discrimination.”

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