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Ethnic parity in Jobcentre Plus programmes and mainstream services: main report

Authors: Claire Crawford , Lorraine Dearden , Alice Mesnard , Jonathan Shaw , Barbara Sianesi and Peter Urwin
Date: 08 May 2008
Type: Mimeo,


This report estimates the extent to which there is ethnic parity in employment and benefit outcomes for Ethnic Minority Jobcentre plus customers compared to otherwise-identical White customers. It is a more detailed version of DWP Research Report 491. An executive summary of this report is also available.

Analysis is based on administrative data and is conducted for individuals accessing a range of Jobcentre Plus services in 2003. Using detailed ethnic and regional breakdowns, results are presented for Jobcentre Plus overall and separately for:

  • Incapacity Benefit - IB
  • Income Support - IS
  • Jobseeker's Allowance - JSA
  • New Deal for Lone Parents - NDLP
  • New Deal for individuals aged 25 plus - ND25plus
  • New Deal for Young People - NDYP

The major finding of this report is that Ethnic Minority and White Jobcentre plus customers often differ to such an extent that calculating quantitative estimates of ethnic parity is simply not possible for a large proportion of the subgroups considered, casting some doubt on previous estimates of ethnic parity.

IB and IS are the only benefits or programmes for which reliable overall results could be calculated. In these two cases, the observed raw ethnic penalties in labour market outcomes can be explained almost entirely by differences in characteristics, with Ethnic Minorities often at least as likely to be in work and off benefits as otherwise-identical Whites. This is also true for many of the regional and ethnic subgroups that are considered - both for IS and IB, and across the other benefits and programmes.

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