Londoners are the poorest workers in Britain


… despite earning the highest average salary in the UK

UK professionals working in the city of London are officially the poorest workers in Britain, according to research conducted by the UK’s leading independent 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 2017, the job site revealed that the average annual salary in London is £37,335; a slight dip on the same period in 2016 and just 15.7% greater than the national average of £32,246 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*:


Average monthly salary Basic monthly costs Remaining income
Aberdeen £2,247.06 £1,074.08 £1,173
Glasgow £2,097.01 £1,024.25 £1,073
Hull £1,885.81 £820.80 £1,065
Sheffield £1,979.48 £1,002.47 £977
Cardiff £2,010.08 £1,044.68 £965
Birmingham £2,038.42 £1,082.95 £955
Liverpool £1,948.49 £1,029.76 £919
Portsmouth £1,930.64 £1,050.23 £880
Leeds £1,955.23 £1,077.09 £878
Southampton £1,987.70 £1,119.42 £868
Edinburgh £1,995.46 £1,133.60 £862
Bristol £2,140.93 £1,289.55 £851
Manchester £1,976.25 £1,142.99 £833
Exeter £1,898.68 £1,120.55 £778
Brighton £1,958.12 £1,341.80 £616.32
London £2,388.96 £2,193.78 £195.18

*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:


“London continues to be an exciting city to live and work in. Attracting people of all ages and from all backgrounds, there are fantastic employment opportunities within the capital. That said, it’s very clear from our analysis that the majority of workers in London are in danger of being left high and dry after pay day, placing many in a compromising position.

“While salaries have fallen slightly year-on-year, living costs within the nation’s capital are clearly pushing people to breaking point and the government must work harder to address this. Otherwise, we could continue to see more 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 £75,413, the same flat in London would be £529,655; six times more expensive (602%). However, when comparing average salaries in both cities (£37,335 in London and £32,183 in Glasgow), Londoners only earn 16% more than workers in Glasgow.

In real terms, a professional in Glasgow would spend 16.3% of their salary on a mortgage for a one bed property and still have £1,347 left in their pocket to cover bills and other living expenses. A Londoner would need 105% 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.”

For further information on CV-Library , visit

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