Pay gap between ethnic minority and white employees ‘at lowest level since 2012’

THE pay gap between white and ethnic employees is now at just 2.3% – the smallest margin since 2012.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics has said that the average white employee earns £12.40 while ethnic employees earn £12.11. 

The gap is calculated as the difference between the average hourly earnings of ethnic groups and white or white British employees, as a proportion of the average hourly earnings of the latter.

Between 2012 and 2019, Chinese, white Irish, white and Asian, and Indian ethnicities earned more on average than white British employees.

But most of the groups, including Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab, consistently earned less than white British employees over the same period.

SR News spoke with Eamon Charrad, 26, lives in Blyth and was born to a Tunisian father and English mother, about whether he believes that the gap is closing between white and ethnic minorities. 

He said: “As a half-Tunisian I feel like I have been afforded the same opportunities as anyone and my race has really played no part in dictating my career.

“It is no surprise to me to see that the pay gap between white and ethnic people has lessened because employers are doing as much as they can to help ethnic people find work.”

One of the key things that Mr Charrad feels is making a difference, is that big companies have to give interviews to people of different ethnicities.

He said: “I do think that employers try their best to give ethnic minorities a chance to succeed and I think, in all honesty, that me being half-Tunisian has helped me rather than hindered me.”

The biggest gaps were between Pakistani workers (£10.55 per hour) and white British (£12.49 per hour), while white Irish workers earned £17.55 per hour on average.

Taking into account factors such as age, sex, marital status, children, qualifications, country of birth and location of employees narrows the gap for many ethnic groups, the ONS found.

It said: “Adjusting for pay determining characteristics influences the pay gaps observed, with a narrowing of pay gaps for most ethnicities.

“This suggests that differences in the average characteristics of different ethnic groups was influencing the unadjusted pay gap, often overstating the difference.”

It found the gap is larger for men than women, although men earn more than women across most ethnic groups.

In 2019, ethnic minority men earned 6.1% less than white men whilst the hourly pay of ethnic minority women was 2.1% more than white women.

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