According to research published by the TUC, black workers with degrees earn almost a quarter (23.1 per cent) less than white workers with degrees on average.
The analysis of official statistics showed that a black worker with a degree earns £14.33 an hour, on average. However, white graduates typically earn £18.63 an hour – £4.33 more.
The findings reveal that the pay gap between white and black workers is at its widest at degree level. Black workers with A-levels earn 14.3 per cent less on average than their white counterparts. And black people who leave school with GCSEs typically get paid 11.4 per cent less than their white peers.
The pay gap between all black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers with degrees and white graduates is 10.3 per cent - the equivalent of £1.93 per hour.
The pay gap with white workers for all groups, regardless of their educational attainment, is 5.6 per cent for BAME workers and 12.8 per cent for black workers.
The TUC is calling on the government to recognise the scale of the problem and urgently develop a race equality strategy as a matter of political priority, with clear targets and adequate resourcing.
This should include measures to tackle the growth of casualised work, which disproportionately affects BAME workers; requirements on employers to analyse and publish pay data by ethnicity; and a requirement for public authorities to use procurement to spread good practice.
Plus, the government must encourage employers to focus on fostering opportunities for BAME leadership and building transparent career progression pathways, as well as tackling discrimination in recruitment through measures such as anonymised CVs.
Gerard Airey of Thompsons Solicitors commented that “evidence that black graduates are lower paid per hour than white graduates is alarming. This is certainly something which should concern the government and measures to address this issue should be looked into as a matter of urgency.”