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Economic empowerment and equity of opportunity
Economic empowerment and equity of opportunity

The hard fact is, there isn’t a level playing field when it comes to economic empowerment and equity of opportunity.

Unemployment rates are consistently higher among Black populations. And in work, Black people get paid less than their White counterparts.

BEO believes an equitable economy is not only possible but crucial for everyone in Britain.

  • Black and Minority Ethnic businesses contributed £25 billion to the UK economy in 2018.1
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups account for more than £300 billion in purchasing power.2
  • In 2021, the annual disposable income of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds was £4.5 billion.3

But Black people also face multiple barriers to full participation in the economy.

  • 53% of Black children live in poverty – double the rate of poverty for White children.4
  • At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black youth unemployment (41.6%) was more than three times higher than White youth unemployment (12.4%).5
  • In the year to September 2021, unemployment was highest for Black people (11%), compared to Indian people (5%) and White people (4%).6
  • In 2019, the average hourly wage for White workers was £12.49 per hour, but for employees from Black backgrounds the average ranged from 4-15% lower (£12-£10.57 per hour).7
  • 6.4% of the Black population are trapped in insecure work, compared to 3% of White people.8
  • Black graduates earn less than White, Asian and Mixed-Race graduates six months after leaving university. 25% of Black graduates earn above £25,000 a year, compared to 38% of Asian graduates and 30% of White graduates.9
  • Black people are also over-represented in low-paid caring or administrative work.10


Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups account for more than £300bn in purchasing power.

BEO will work with its partners and allies to ensure an inclusive economy where all Black people can thrive.

We will work for equitable participation, pay and progress for Black people in the job market and seek to challenge and address the causes and consequences of poverty.

Look out for the launch of our own report looking at the experiences of Black communities in the UK.