Twice as many young and ethnic minority workers lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic compared to the national average, a recent report said.

The study was based on a poll by YouGov for the Resolution Foundation, an independent think tank focused on improving living standards for those on low to middle incomes.

The poll of 6,000 people, conducted in late September, found that 19% of workers between 18-24 and 22% of ethnic minority workers lost their jobs after furlough, compared to 9% of workers on average.

The furlough scheme was introduced during the national lockdown in spring, and meant that employees received 80% of their normal pay. At the height of the scheme, around 9 million people were on furlough.

The scheme has since been wound down, being replaced with a separate and less financially generous job support scheme, as the economic costs of the pandemic surge.

Job losses have been concentrated in the hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as those in insecure employment. Both young and ethnic minority workers are also concentrated in these areas.

The report said that race on its own did not seem to be a significant factor, but age did play a role, partially at least, as younger workers were more likely to leave their jobs.

There is a risk of long-term unemployment, as those who recently lost their jobs rarely applied for other jobs outside these sectors due to lack of work experience.

Government data put the UK’s unemployment rate at 4.5% in August.

The Resolution Foundation estimated the unemployment rate in September being around 7%, with the figure increasing to 20% for those aged 18-24.

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