Ethnic minorities in Britain face “entrenched and far-reaching” inequality, a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said last week.
Overall, white people are more likely to be employed, better paid and in positions of power, the commission said.
David Isaac, who became EHRC chairman in May this year, called on the government to develop new targets to reduce race inequality in the criminal justice system, education and employment.
“Today’s report underlines just how entrenched race inequality and unfairness still is in our society. If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you’re living in a different world, never mind being part of a one-nation society,” Isaac said.
The job market was not treating black, Asian and ethnic minority workers fairly, according to the findings of the commission. People from those communities who have degrees are two and-a-half times more likely to be unemployed than white workers with degrees.
The unemployment rate for white Britons was 6.3 per cent, compared to 12.9 per cent for ethnic minorities.
Indians had the lowest unemployment of all ethnic minorities (9.2 per cent), while Pakistani and Bangladeshis had the highest, at 17.3 per cent.
Overall, Pakistan and Bangladesh and “other”ethnic groups received lower pay than white people in Britain, with Bangladesh men having the lowest pay of all ethnic minorities.
Conversely, the Indian ethnic group did not experience a significant reduction in average pay which resulted in a positive pay gap in 2013. Indians were paid 8.9 per cent more than their white counterparts.
In terms of poverty and living standards, the report highlighted that in England, a higher percentage of Indians (13.4 per cent), Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (21.7 per cent) live in overcrowded housing compared to white households (3.4 per cent) in 2012/13.
Another major concern of the review which was published last Thursday (18) was the “unprecedented spike” in hate crimes since Britain voted on June 23 to leave the European Union. Race was the motive in 82 per cent of hate crimes recorded in England and Wales.
“The combination of the post-Brexit rise in hate crime and deep race inequality in Britain is very worrying and must be tackled urgently,” Isaac said.
Other findings in the report said that when it comes to who runs Britain, overall ethnic minorities are still largely under-represented in positions of power. And while there has been progress in the increase of ethnic minority MPs, local councillors in England are overwhelmingly white, with only four per cent from ethnic minorities.
One of the main recommendations of the EHCR, which commissioned the report, was that the government develops a comprehensive, coordinated and long-term strategy to achieve race equality.
A government spokesperson said: “This government is committed to making Britain a country that works for everyone. That means delivering real social reform, so that all citizens have the opportunity to realise their full potential.
“We are making real progress – with BME employment rates at their highest levels for 15 years. But there is clearly more to do, which is why we are delivering a comprehensive race equality programme on employment, university places, apprenticeships, start-up loans and recruitment to the police and armed forces.”