Aljoša Šestanović, Fayyaz Hussain Qureshi, Sarwar Khawaja


This paper aims to analyse the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on ethnic minorities. The focus is on ethnic minorities in London, particularly before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. We investigated the discriminatory practices towards ethnic minorities in the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. These are primarily related to the labour market and the sectors and occupations most affected by the pandemic. We used Government data on the UK's different ethnic groups and the London Datastore, an open data-sharing portal. We also reviewed the empirical literature in economics on discrimination in the labour market before and during the pandemic. The adverse effects of the pandemic have been much more severe in economic downturns than during more stable economic times. We found that, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been persistent differences in particular economic aspects between ethnic minorities and white men and women. Over the past decade, ethnic minorities in the UK have made progress in the median pay gap, employment gap and unemployment rates. However, ethnic minorities in London have faced more challenges than those in other parts of the UK. In addition, during the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment rates were much higher for ethnic minorities than they were for whites.

JEL: H12; H50; H83; I10

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ethnic minorities, Covid-19, economic downturn, racial discrimination, unfairness, equal opportunities

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