Black and Ethnic minority workers earn 3.8% less on average than white British counterparts

 Employees from ethnic minority groups earned on average 3.8 per cent less than their white British counterparts (Picture: Getty Images) DISPLAY SETTINGS
Employees from ethnic minority groups earned on average 3.8 per cent less than their white British counterparts (Picture: Getty Images)

Black and ethnic minority workers are continuing to face significant pay penalties, new figures have shown.

Employees from ethnic minority groups earned on average 3.8 per cent less than their white British counterparts in 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

The pay gap was biggest for workers in the Bangladeshi ethnic group, at 20.2 per cent less than white British employees, and Pakistani at 16.9 per cent.

By contrast, employees in the Chinese ethnic group earned 30.9 per cent more than those in the white British group.

The figures were included in the first analysis of Britain’s ethnicity pay gap, defining the difference between gross median hourly pay of white British employees and other ethnic groups.

A positive pay gap is when average earnings for ethnic groups are below the equivalent figure for their white British counterparts.

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The ONS report shows the overall ethnicity pay gap in Great Britain decreased from 4.2 per cent in 2017 to 3.8 per cent in 2018.

Workers in the Chinese ethnic group earned 30.9 per cent more than those in the white British group (Picture: Getty Images)
Workers in the Chinese ethnic group earned 30.9 per cent more than those in the white British group (Picture: Getty Images)

But in some categories the gap widened year-on-year, including Pakistani (up from 16.6 per cent to 16.9 per cent) and African, Caribbean and Black British (from 5.5 per cent to 9.2 per cent).

While Chinese (30.9 per cent), Indian (12.0 per cent) and mixed/multiple ethnic groups (2.5 per cent) each had average hourly earnings above their white British counterparts.

Average gross hourly earnings for white British employees in 2018 were £12.03, while for Chinese it was £15.75, Indian £13.47 and mixed/multiple ethnic groups £12.33.

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All other categories ranked below the figure for white British employees, including African, Caribbean and Black British £10.92, Pakistani £10.00 and Bangladeshi £9.60.

London has the largest ethnicity pay gap, with minority groups earning on average 21.7 per cent less than white employees.

While two regions, north-east England and Eastern England, recorded negative pay gaps, where the average earnings for ethnic groups were higher than those for white employees (6.5 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively).

The ONS also said the pay gap between white British and other ethnic groups tends to be smaller for younger employees than for older employees.

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Senior ONS analyst Hugh Stickland said: ‘Overall, employees from certain ethnic groups, such as Indian and Chinese, have higher average earnings than their white British counterparts.

‘However, all other ethnic groups have average wages lower than for white British employees, with employees from the Bangladeshi ethnic group having the largest pay gap.

‘But, once characteristics such as education and occupation are taken into account, the pay gap between white British and most other ethnic groups becomes narrower, though significant differences still remain.’

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