65% of UK employees believe they are underpaid


Under two-thirds (65%) of employees think they are underpaid, but this rises to 94% among employees based in Aberdeen, according to research by recruitment website CV Library.

Its survey of 1,200 UK employees also found that 76% of respondents in Edinburgh believe they are underpaid, compared with 71% of those working in Newcastle, 69% based in Glasgow and 67% in Liverpool.

Elsewhere, 67% of respondents based in Bristol believe they are underpaid, with employees in Leeds (66%), Manchester (65%), London (65%) and Sheffield (61%) also agreeing with this sentiment.

CV Library also analysed the average salaries in these locations in comparison to the national average, using data from its Q2 2018 Job Market Report, published in July 2018. The UK’s average salary is £33,200, and employees in Aberdeen are in fact paid 12% more, as they receive £37,325 on average. London is 15% higher, with an average salary of £38,315.

Of the locations that are underpaid when compared to the national average, Sheffield has the largest gap, coming in at 11% below the national level, with a recorded average salary of £29,686. Newcastle closely follows, landing 10% under the national average at £29,847, while Leeds reports an 8% difference, with £30,706. Both Manchester and Liverpool are underpaid by 5%, with £31,682 and £31,474 respectively. Edinburgh and Glasgow both have average salaries 3% lower than the national level, at £32,147 and £32,361.

Lee Biggins (pictured), founder and managing director at CV Library, said: “We often hear that candidates look for a new job to secure a higher salary, so we wanted to explore how true this sentiment is in the UK, comparing the insights against our own salary data. It certainly confirms that the vast majority of [employees] believe that they’re underpaid and it’s clear that this feeling is more apparent in the north.

“London continues to offer the highest salaries, though living costs in the capital should be taken into account as these can impact take home pay massively. What’s more, the fact that the cost of living in Aberdeen is considerably lower and average pay only falls behind London by £990, suggests that those looking to earn more could consider a move to north-east Scotland.”