Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate ethnic disadvantages in the UK labour market in the last three decades. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on data from the most authoritative government surveys, the gross and net differences in employment status and class position between minority ethnic and White British men covering 34 years (1972‐2005) are analysed. Findings – White British and White Other men were generally advantaged in employment and in access to professional and managerial (salariat) jobs. White Irish men were making steady progress, and have now caught up with the White British. Black men were much more likely to be unemployed in recession years but progress is discernible with Black Caribbeans approaching, and Black Africans frequently outperforming, the White British in gaining access to the salariat. Indian and Chinese men were behind the White British in employment but little different in access to the salariat. Pakistani/Bangladeshi men were most disadvantaged in both respects. Originality/value – This is the most systematic research in this area so far, using the most authoritative data and covering such a long period.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 20, 2008
Keywords: Employment; Social status; Human capital; Ethnic groups