Ethnic minority representation amongst IT specialists in 2020 ranged from just 12% of specialist IT managers and web designers / developers, to 26% of business analysts. Even in the case of IT occupations with the lowest levels of ethnic minority representation, levels recorded were no lower than for the workforce as a whole (also 12%).

Ethnic minority representation by IT occupation (2020)

Chart showing ethnic minority representation by IT occupation (2020)

Source: Analysis of ONS Quarterly Labour Force Survey by BCS
* Five-year average

Permanency of employment

Overall, 3% of IT specialists in the UK were working on a non-permanent basis in 2020, whilst for IT specialists from ethnic minority groups, the figure was twice this level at 6%. By comparison, the proportion of ethnic minority workers as a whole in non-permanent employment during the year was still higher at 8%.

Though a detailed analysis of the reasons why IT specialists (white / ethnic minority) were in non-permanent employment during 2020 is not possible due to limitations of the data source, it can be said that ethnic minority IT specialists are slightly less likely to be in temporary positions as they cannot find a full-time job, with around one fifth (19%) of ethnic minority IT specialists in such roles stating this to be the case during the 2016-20 period, compared to a figure of almost one quarter (23%) for those IT specialists of white ethnicity.

Ethnicity and unemployment

There were approximately 10,000 unemployed IT specialists from ethnic minority groups in the UK during 2020 - 24% of all unemployed IT specialists in the UK at that time.

At 3.2% the associated unemployment rate[1] for IT specialists from ethnic minority groups was notably higher than that of their white counterparts (2.3%) though below the overall unemployment rate in the UK (3.4%).

[1]See data notes.