More than half of young black men available for work in Britain are now unemployed, according to unpublished government statistics obtained by the Guardian which show the recession is hitting young black people disproportionately hard. The new figures, which do not include students, also reveal that the youth unemployment rate for black people has increased at almost twice the rate for white 16- to 24-year-olds since the start of the recession in 2008. Young black men are the worst affected of all, according to a gender breakdown contained within the data supplied by the Office for National Statistics. Unemployment among young black men has doubled in three years, rising from 28.8% in 2008 to 55.9% in the last three months of 2011. Although the ONS said the gender breakdown should be treated with caution due to a relatively small sample size, the figures brought calls for further government action from business and community figures in the UK. Iqbal Wahhab, owner of the Roast restaurant in London and chair of the ethnic minority advisory group at the Department for Work and Pensions, said the figures had exposed an issue that has been “like the elephant in the room”. Wahhab, who runs… Read full this story
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