The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Londoners are the Poorest Workers in Britain


UK professionals working in the city of London are officially the poorest workers in Britain, according to research conducted by the UK’s largest job site, CV-Library. This is despite the fact that Londoners earn the highest average salary in the UK.

Based on new roles advertised in Q3 2015, the job site revealed that the average annual salary in London is £36,905; just 16.6% greater than the national average of £31,625 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 salary in 16 of the UK’s key cities revealed how employees in North England and Scotland are by far the richest in the UK:

Richest to Poorest UK Workers*:

Average Monthly Salary               Basic Monthly Costs                       Remaining Income

Aberdeen:                           £2,230                                                 £917                                     £1,313

Liverpool:                            £1,993                                                 £862                                     £1,131

Glasgow:                              £2,015                                                 £891                                     £1,125

Birmingham:                      £2,040                                                 £921                                     £1,119

Sheffield:                             £2,025                                                 £914                                     £1,112

Leeds:                                   £2,014                                                 £919                                     £1,095

Cardiff:                                 £2,019                                                 £924                                     £1,095

Portsmouth:                       £1,995                                                 £953                                     £1,042

Manchester:                       £1,936                                                 £951                                     £985

Southampton:                   £1,991                                                 £1,035                                 £957

Hull:                                       £1,816                                                 £864                                     £952

Bristol:                                  £2,145                                                 £1,207                                 £937

Edinburgh:                          £2,013                                                 £1,167                                 £846

Exeter:                                  £1,822                                                 £1,040                                 £783

Brighton:                             £1,826                                                 £1,348                                 £478

London:                               £2,349                                                 £3,313                                 -£964

*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 show that a Londoner wanting the same living standards as anyone else in the country will either end up in serious debt, or have to make major compromises to their living standards, despite holding senior, well-paid jobs.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, explains:

“It’s not unreasonable for a UK working professional to want to come home to their own space at night. As employees, it’s advantages such as these that motivate and inspire us to do well. However, living premiums mean that this isn’t a reality for most workers in the capital and the idea of getting on the property ladder is a pipe dream, despite working hard. The fact that Londoners struggle to afford the bare essentials is worrying and may well affect the number of professionals that choose to work in the city; other cities are starting to appear as much more appealing prospects for UK workers.”

Current house prices reinforce how unobtainable it is for working Londoners to get on the property ladder; when comparing the purchase of a one-bed flat in London, to a similar one-bed flat in Hull, the difference is significant. Whilst the average cost of a one-bed flat in Hull is £72,486, the same flat in London would be £544,118; more than 7.5 times more expensive (750.6%). However, when comparing average salaries in both cities (£36,905 in London and £27,809 in Hull), Londoners only earn just under a third more (32.7%) than workers in Hull.

In real terms, a professional in Hull would spend 18.1% of their salary on a mortgage for a one bed property and still have £1,485 left in their pocket to cover bills and other living expenses. A Londoner would need 105.5% 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.”

For further information on CV-Library, visit


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


Related Articles