£7,200 is the pay rise magic number, say UK employees

  • That’s the average figure workers say would give them a ‘comfortable life’
  • Women are less likely to ask for a rise than men – amid a new ‘gender pay rise gap
  • Bristolians are the least happy with their current salary – with just 5% saying they feel comfortable on what they earn
  • Yet Londoners are the most likely to ask for a pay rise in 2018

New research has revealed what the average Briton feels they need to lead a ‘comfortable life’ – a pay rise of £7,200. That’s the conclusion of a new study commissioned by the world’s largest job site, Indeed.
For someone earning the average UK salary of £27,600, the figure equates to an extra £3.46 per hour[1] – or a 26% pay rise to £34,800 per year.


With the the cost of living varying significantly across the UK, people’s perceptions of what it would take to achieve a comfortable life differ from region to region. Employees in Wales say a rise of just £4,300 would suffice, while those in southeast England feel they’d need £9,900.


While a clear majority of workers want to earn more money to feel comfortable, a surprising 23% of people in the East of England say they don’t need a pay rise because their ‘life is comfortable’ with their current salary. By contrast, just 5% of workers in Bristol say they are comfortable on their current salary.
Indeed’s research suggests there may also be a ‘gender pay rise gap’, with just 38% of women planning to ask for more money in the coming year compared to more than half (51%) of men.


More than a tenth (11%) of women say they are too embarrassed to discuss a pay rise with their employer; nearly three times the proportion of men who are put off by embarrassment (4%.)
Table: Top 5 reasons why women say they won’t ask for a pay rise in 2018

  1. I am happy with my salary (29%
  2. My peers haven’t had a pay rise (16%)
  3. Fear of losing my job (16%)
  4. I have had a pay rise already/recently (15%)
  5. Too embarrassed to have the conversation about a pay rise (11%)

Despite having the highest average salaries in the country at £34,473, two thirds (63%) of Londoners plan to ask for a pay rise this year. At the other end of the scale, workers in Yorkshire are least likely in Britain to ask for rise, with just 35% planning to do so in 2018.
Bill Richards, UK Managing Director, Indeed, comments: “However much we like our job, many of us feel we’d like it just that bit better if we were paid more. So it’s little surprise that ‘get a pay rise’ is a popular New Year’s resolution – and by putting a figure on what people feel they need to be ‘comfortable’, our research reveals the scale of their ambition.
“Our £7,200 magic number shows people’s aspirations are well above the average pay rises achieved by British workers in 2017, which according to government data were below 3%. But with the number of unemployed people at its lowest level for four decades, employers are having to compete hard to recruit and retain the people they need to grow.
“This battle for talent should slowly push up wages in 2018, but it’s likely that employers will also ramp up the benefits they offer staff. Salary is only one of the drivers that attract talent, and our research shows that employees consistently rate work-life balance and the quality of the working environment as equally important as their paypacket.”

Author: Editorial Team

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