Black Unemployment

40 years ago was the anniversary of the Brixton Riots or the Brixton Uprising.

The riot was a tipping point of the frustration that young Black people were feeling.

Unemployment in Brixton was at 13% whilst 50% of young Black men were unemployed in the early 1980s. 

Black people were also four times as likely to lose their jobs as white people during this period.

An article from The Guardian states that the black youth unemployment rate was the same in the last quarter of 2020 as in the early 1980s, around the time the riots took place.

Between October and December 2020, 41.6% of Black people aged 16-24 were unemployed – the highest rate since the last financial crisis, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals. 

Unemployment among white workers of the same age stood at 12.4%.

So what needs to change?

Halima Begum from The Runnymede Trust states that “without government intervention, the post-Covid recovery process for our black and ethnic minority communities will inevitably be delayed,” she said. 

The government has apprenticeships aimed at 16-24-year-olds, which is a step in the right direction.

Companies such as The Brixton Finishing School offer 10-week free full-time learning to underrepresented groups. 

It will lead to opportunities to work in advertising, marketing and creative departments.

If we are the community that we say we are, we need to be the ones to ask our Directors, educators and leaders what we can do to close the gap in unemployment.

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