UK professionals working in the city of London are officially the poorest workers in Britain, according to research conducted by job site, CV-Library. This is despite the fact that Londoners continue to earn the highest average salary in the UK.
Based on new roles advertised in Q3 2016, the job site revealed that the average annual salary in London is £37,408; just 13.2% greater than the national average of £32,596 per year.
However, further research revealed that premium costs in the capital drastically outweigh the slightly higher-than-average salaries, meaning Londoners have the least disposable income in the country.
Comparing the same basic living costs against average salaries in 16 of the UK’s key cities revealed how employees in Scotland and North England remain the richest in the UK:
Richest to poorest UK Workers*:
|North West +14.2%||Recruitment +17.5%|
|Wales +6.8%||Legal +8.7%|
|East Midlands +3.9%||Hospitality +6.7%|
|North East +3.5%||Property +5.7%|
|Scotland +2.6%||Accounting/Finance +4.8%|
*Basic monthly costs include rent (small, one-bed flat, located close to the city centre), relevant council tax, a local monthly travel card, basic utility bills and groceries.
The results suggest that a worker in London could end up in serious debt if they want the same living standards as anyone else in the country, despite holding senior, well-paid jobs.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, explains:
“Many workers are attracted to the capital as it is home to some major organisations, offering exciting job prospects. However, the high cost of living in London means that the vast majority of workers are left high and dry after pay day, placing many in a compromising position.
“There is a growing concern across the nation surrounding property costs, with current house prices in the capital reinforcing how unobtainable it is for working Londoners to get on the property ladder. Eventually, this could result in people retreating from London, in search of areas which offer a better state of living.”
To delve even further, when comparing the purchase of a one-bed flat in London, to a similar one-bed flat in Glasgow, the difference is significant. Whilst the average cost of a one-bed flat in Glasgow is £76,286, the same flat in London would be £550,764; six times more expensive (622%). However, when comparing average salaries in both cities (£37,408 in London and £33,417 in Glasgow), Londoners only earn 12% more than workers in Glasgow.
In real terms, a professional in Glasgow would spend 16.1% of their salary on a mortgage for a one bed property and still have £1,810 left in their pocket to cover bills and other living expenses. A Londoner would need 105.2% of their salary to pay the mortgage alone, leaving them in debt before they have even considered how to cover bills and other basic costs.
Biggins concludes: “Wages and living expenses in London are not relative to the rest of the UK, making Londoners the poorest workers in Britain. While the government is taking steps to ensure that Londoners can afford to live, many job hunters and businesses are continuing to scrape the barrel in order to get by.”
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