How to get ethnic minority employment data

Guidance for local government and employers who need data on ethnic minority employment to set targets and monitor improvement in local areas.

Data sets and where to find them

The Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group (EMESG) has prepared a guide to available datasets (PDF, 235KB, 4 pages). The guide lists in a chart where to find the data and the websites from which they can be sourced. It also explains if the data can be filtered or segmented by ethnic minority or local authority.

The chart includes:

  • ethnic minority data
  • the major employment and population surveys
  • census data
  • administratively collected data

Most of the data can be segmented by local authority or government region.

Data sources

Neighbourhoods and communities

The Data for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration website lists population surveys, data sets for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance and educational attainment that can be broken down by ethnic status. The website has a filtering tool to show the full list.

The Department for Communities and Local Government statistics page lists data sets published by the government, some of which split the data by ethnic origin.

The London Councils Directory website lists information about each of the 32 London boroughs and London as a whole.

Educational attainment

The National Pupil Database provides data on exam results and literacy and numeracy ability testing, which can be broken down by ethnicity.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency website holds statistics on participation in higher education.

Economic and social data

NOMIS (originally National Online Manpower Information System) lists labour market and related population data most of which is available down to local authority level, including:

  • data from the 2011 Census and from those for 2001, 1991 and 1981
  • Labour Force Survey
  • claimant count, incuding on-flows and off-flows
  • Annual Business Inquiry
  • Annual Population Survey listing:
    • employment by occupation and ethnic group
    • employment by industry and ethnic group
    • economic activity by ethnic group and nationality
    • economic activity by ethnic group and country of birth
    • ethnicity by economic activity
    • ethnicity by age
  • New Earnings Survey

How to get DWP benefit and employment/unemployment data from NOMIS (PDF, 1000KB, 11 pages).

The UK Data Archive (UKDA) is a centre of expertise in data acquisition, preservation, dissemination and promotion and is curator of the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the UK.

The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) is a national data service providing access and support for an extensive range of economic and social data.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ internet Tabulation Tool lets you download and customise data on benefits, employment programmes and National Insurance numbers allocated to overseas nationals entering the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the government’s single largest statistical producer, reporting directly to Parliament. ONS produces independent information to improve our understanding of the UK’s economy and society.

See a glossary of data source Terms explained (PDF, 64.8KB, 2 pages).

Help with statistical analysis

The Neighbourhood Statistics site run by the Office for National Statistics offers resources that can help with statistical analysis, including:

  • building an evidence base
  • analysing change over time
  • using time series data
  • comparing areas

Exemplar case studies

The EMESG has prepared 3 examplar case studies showing how statistical data can be analysed and interpreted with minimal bias, using some of the datasets listed in this guide.

Published 2 February 2011
Last updated 14 August 2014 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to Labour market status by ethnic group statistics in the guide to available datasets.

  2. First published.