Ethnic minorities and women with religious convictions have the toughest time when it comes to finding work, according to research published by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The research analyses the probability of being in employment based on different combinations of ethnic and religious group.
It finds that for women, the employment penalties faced by Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds are higher than the penalty for any ethnic group of no religion.
Work and pensions secretary John Hutton said: "We simply cannot afford to ignore the specific discrimination that exists in the UK labour market.
"Along with improvements in training and skills - such as the increased emphasis on English language training for benefit recipients [the government] announced earlier this month - ethnic minority employment rates can be improved," Hutton added.