Unemployment rate for black 16 to 24-year-olds available for work now double that for white counterparts, ONS data shows Read the full data here More than half of young black men available for work in Britain are now unemployed according to unpublished government statistics obtained by the Guardian, which show the recession is hitting young black people disproportionately hard. The new figures, which do not include students, also reveal that the youth unemployment rate for black people has increased at almost twice the rate for white 16 to 24-year-olds since the start of the recession in 2008. Young black men are the worst affected of all, according to a gender breakdown contained within the data supplied by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Unemployment among young black men has doubled in just three years, rising from 28.8% in 2008 to 55.9% in the last three months of 2011. Although the ONS cautioned that the gender breakdown should be treated with caution due to a relatively small sample size, the overall figures brought calls for further government action from business and community figures in the UK.