Scotland hit by cost-of-living crisis with £10K pay gap


WORKERS in Scotland are battling the cost-of-living crisis, with the average worker wanting £10K more per year in order to live comfortably.

Research conducted by Reed revealed salary expectation gaps across the UK – with workers in Scotland feeling £46,000 is a comfortable salary to live on. In comparison, the average wage in Scotland is currently £36,0001. Pinning this against the national statistics, Scotland is experiencing a less intense wage gap, with the average salary expectation gap across the UK being £14K.

As part of their annual salary guides, Reed analysed more than 17 million job adverts and asked 5,000 UK workers a range of questions on their salary – both current and expected. It revealed that workers on the UK’s average salary of £35,000 would need a 40% pay rise to survive the sharp increase in the cost of living – totalling up to a substantial £1.2K extra per month to keep up. To compare, workers in Scotland would need an extra £800 per month.

Gillian Dolan, Regional Director for Scotland at Reed, said: “Despite workers in Scotland stating less of a gap between ‘comfortable salary’ and what they’re actually receiving compared to other areas in the UK, there remains to be a lot of uncertainty and growing financial concerns in the air.

“The Scottish economy has proven resilient in 2023, however, by not falling into a recession despite being forecast to do so. This has allowed for healthy movement in the employment sector, and compared to the rest of the UK, GDP grew slightly, allowing workers to feel less of a hit than their neighbours.

“Even though we aren’t expecting a massive shake up with salaries, we are predicting a lot of movement – people are taking the risk and looking for a better paying job.”

In addition, 41% of workers in Scotland felt that their financial outgoings were negatively impacting their mental health, with 36% not feeling confident that they will achieve their financial saving goals as planned. The research also unveiled that 56% are actively looking for or considering new job opportunities, with 46% believing they could take advantage of higher salaries elsewhere.

Reed has produced a suite of 16 sector-specific salary guides, which includes an in-depth analysis of a survey with 5,000 UK workers, assessing their current and preferred salaries and benefits, their organisation’s performance and priorities, how they rated their job security and the future of their sector, and the key recruitment and skills trends they’re witnessing.

 You can download the guides here.

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