Bangladeshi and Pakistani minorities are especially unlikely to be able to find work but, even with a university degree, they are less likely to be employed than someone who is white with the same qualifications.
Furthermore Pakistani and Bangladeshi women – whose numbers at university have recently increased – are "much less likely" to be in work than their British or Indian counterparts.
The report, which also concludes that ethnic minorities are being paid less and are frequently "overlooked" for jobs, prefers to blame a wide range of factors rather than suggesting that employers are actively engaged in racial discrimination.
It does, however, argue that ultimately education is failing "to close the gap".
"Although the past decade has seen some improvements, there are still some very serious problems which remain unsolved," JRF director Julia Unwin said.
"We need an urgent rethink from government and employers so that minority ethnic groups do not miss out on opportunities in the workplace and higher educational attainment is properly recognised."
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