Black workers face a “massive pay gap” that widens as they achieve more qualifications, according to a report by the Trades Union Congress.
The research suggested there was a 23% gap in hourly pay between black and white university graduates. Black people with A-levels were paid 14% less on average than white workers with equivalent qualifications, while those with GCSEs faced a deficit of 11%.
It comes after David Cameron criticised universities over racial inequality and vowed to introduce new laws to “shame” them into action.
The TUC analysed figures from the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey and found black workers with a degree were paid £4.30 an hour less on average than white graduates.
Staff from all ethnic minority backgrounds faced a 10% pay deficit at degree level, rising to 17% for those with A-levels alone.
The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, told the Independent: “These are very worrying findings. Black and Asian people face a massive pay gap, even if they have a degree. This is not about education, but about the systemic disadvantages ethnic minority workers face in the UK.”
The union called for the government to tackle pay discrimination.
The figures follow a study by the Resolution Foundation last month that found ethnic minority people have lower employment rates than other groups.
The thinktank said the employment gap between the best and worst performing regions of the UK was 11%, but for black, Asian and minority-ethnic (BAME) people the figure was 26%.
The research follows a study reported in the Observer that found ethnic minority graduates in Britain were much less likely to be employed than their white peers six months after graduation – and many earned less for years afterwards.
The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex,found British ethnic minority graduates were between 5% and 15% less likely to be employed than their white British peers six months after graduation. There are also marked disparities in wages between many ethnic minority women and black Caribbean men who find jobs after graduation and their white counterparts.
At the weekend, the prime minister warned educational institutions, the police, the military and the courts they were the focus of a new effort to tackle social inequality fuelled by “ingrained, institutional and insidious” racism.-Guardian