Ethnic minority women face jobs 'catastrophe'

image captionLabour MP David Lammy says the employment outlook for some ethnic minority women was "bleak"

Black and minority ethnic women face "catastrophic" levels of unemployment and are discriminated against at "every stage" of the recruitment process, a group of MPs has warned.

The BBC has seen a report from the all-party parliamentary group on race and community which says racial bias holds some women back from getting a job.

Labour MP David Lammy, the committee's chairman, says the situation is "deeply worrying".

The report will be published on Friday.

The inquiry examined written and verbal evidence through the summer.

Despite latest official figures showing, nationally, unemployment has continued to fall, the report says racial bias is holding some women back from getting a job.

One woman said she changed her Muslim-sounding name after using a different one secured her more job interviews.

And a black African woman said she was overlooked for a law-based job in favour of two less qualified white women, but then offered the job when the women were sacked for incompetence.

Mr Lammy said: "There have been a lot of cuts to the public sector. Black and minority ethnic women have been traditionally employed in the public sector and are losing their jobs in droves at this time.

"They complain of struggling with no support around child care and around helping them to stay in work. Many are doing just casual employment, so the picture is bleak and depressing."

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