UK unemployment
Ethnic minorities in the UK have an unemployment rate of 14% against 7% for whitesReuters

People from ethnic minority backgrounds are twice as likely to be unemployed in the UK as whites, according to government figures.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the unemployment rate for working age people from all ethnic minorities was 14% in the year to September 2013, against 7% for white people.

Unemployment among black people in the UK was at a rate of 17% over the same period. It was 15% for those of mixed race and 18% for Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

"The jobs picture may be slowly improving, but these figures suggest that the recovery and the return to employment are not being experienced equally across all the UK's different communities," said Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

"Rather than leave people from some ethnic backgrounds to languish on the dole, the government should do much more to help black and Pakistani youngsters – as well as the long-term unemployed from within these communities – with targeted support so they can more easily find work."

Working-age Bangladeshi and Pakistani women were the worst affected category with an unemployment rate of 24%. Black males were second at 19%.

For the UK as a whole, the unemployment rate is 7.4% with 2.39 million people out of work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Youth unemployment is 20.5%.