Economic inactivity, like unemployment, higher among ethnic groups

commuters B&W1.3 million working age Londoners are “economically inactive” and people from ethnic groups are 60% more likely to be in this category than white people.

Economic inactivity is a definition used for people who are not seeking work or unable to work.   The main groups in this category are the sick and disabled, people caring for family, students and those who have retired early.

Data from the Office of National Statistics show that 18.9% of the 3.5 million working age white people in London are economically inactive but for the capital’s 2.25 million working age people from other ethnic groups it is 30.2%

In 5 boroughs – Hackney, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden – the rate of economic inactivity among ethnic groups is more than twice that of whites. In Hackney, the rate is 39% for ethnic minorities and just 14% for the white population.

In 4 boroughs – Bexley, Barking & Dagenham, Bromley and Enfield – the rate is lower for ethnic groups than for whites. In Barking & Dagenham, which has a working population with similar numbers from white and ethnic groups, the rate is 30% for white and 26% for ethnic minorities.

Economic inactivity 2 boroughts

The data also shows that people who are economically inactive varies across different ethnic groups. It is highest among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and lowest in people with an Indian background.

econmic inactivity ethnic figs


People of mixed ethnic origin are the only group where rates are lower in London than the rest of the UK.

As previously reported by Urbs London, people from ethnic groups are also twice as likely to be unemployed as white people.

Source data

See also

Jobs growth shows changing face of work

1 in 3 kids growing up in out-of-work households in parts of London