Ethnic minority employees in the UK earn less than White employees on average, and this gap has barely changed in the last decade, the latest ONS report shows.
The ONS report, covering the period from 2012 to 2022, uses data from the Annual Population Survey to compare the median hourly earnings of UK-born White employees and employees from different ethnic minority groups.
It shows that ethnicity pay gaps have remained over the past decade, even after taking into account factors such as occupation, qualifications, geography, age and sex.
UK-born Black employees had the largest pay gap, earning 5.6 per cent less than UK-born White employees in 2022, with a rise since 2012, when it was 2.7 per cent.
According to Emily Froud, Head of Employment and Labour Market Statistics at the Office for National Statistics, the ethnicity pay gap is a serious issue that affects millions of workers in the UK.
She said: “It is unacceptable that people from different ethnic backgrounds are paid less than their White counterparts for doing the same work.”
The report also revealed that country of birth has an influence on how much employees earn with UK-born Black employees earned more than non-UK-born Black employees in 2022.
While UK-born Chinese employees earned less than non-UK-born Chinese employees in 2022.
The ethnic pay gap peaked at 21.7 per cent in London, contrasting sharply with Wales, where it hit a minimal 1.4 per cent.
Notably, the East of England region displayed a negative pay gap of -8.6 per cent, indicating higher average earnings for ethnic minority employees compared to their Uk-born White counterparts.
The report identifies occupation, qualifications, geography, age and sex as the main factors that influence the pay gap. When adjusting for these factors, the pay gap narrows and in some cases reverses for some ethnic groups.
The ONS report is the latest in a series of studies that highlight the persistent inequalities faced by ethnic minority groups in the UK labour market.
In 2017, the government commissioned the Race in the Workplace report, which set out a range of actions for businesses and government to improve employment and career prospects for ethnic minority workers.
According to the report, equal participation and progression across ethnicities could be worth an additional £24 billion to the UK’s economy per year.
The report also comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected ethnic minority communities in terms of health, income and employment.