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Ethnic Minority Workers Hit Hardest By Covid-19

Workers from black and ethnic minority groups are more likely to suffer financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a national charity reveals.

A survey run by poverty charity Turn2us says that 58% of BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) workers have had their employment affected since the start of the pandemic, compared to 47% of white workers.

Bangladeshi workers are most affected with 80% reporting a change in their employment circumstances. This compares with 63% of black African or black British workers, 58% recorded for Pakistani workers and 55% of the UK’s Indian population.

One of the reasons given for the economic inequality is that people from BAME communities, particularly workers of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian descent, are more likely to work in insecure or casual employment. This shows a strong correlation between falling income during the pandemic and ethnicity. Further, one in five Asian participants believe they will need to make a claim for Universal Credit or other benefits. One in six black respondents and one in seven mixed-race respondents said they will have to fall back on the welfare state. However, only 10% of white respondents said they will have to make a benefits claim.

The survey of 2,064 people also revealed that women across all ethnicities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, compared to men.

Turn2us found 52% of women have seen their employment affected as a result of the health crisis, compared to 45% of men. This includes 70% of female Asian women; 55% of black women; and 51% of white women who have reported a loss in income or change to their employment situation.

Dr Zubaida Haque, interim director at the Runnymede Trust, said: “We may all be weathering the same storm during Covid-19, but we’re not in the same boat. This survey shows that the cumulative

Disadvantages of pre-existing poverty and racial inequalities have left ethnic minority groups much more vulnerable to the economic brunt of Covid-19.

“Bangladeshi, Pakistani, black African and black Caribbean men are all much more likely to have had jobs in shutdown industries, partly because Bangladeshi men are concentrated in restaurant occupations and Pakistani men are concentrated in taxi driving and chauffeur occupations.”

NHS figures highlight the death rate among those from BAME backgrounds is more than double that of those who identify as white, for example. Figures from the Office for National Statistics also revealed that people from ethnic minorities who work in the health service are seven times more likely to die from coronavirus than their white colleagues.