Workers in the South West of England are battling the cost-of-living crisis, with the average worker wanting £12,000 more per year in order to live comfortably.

Research conducted by Reed revealed salary expectation gaps across the UK – with workers in the South West feeling £45,000 is a comfortable salary to live on. In comparison, the average wage in the South West is currently £33,000. Pinning this against the national statistics, the South West 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 nation’s average salary of £35,000 would need a 40 per cent 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 the South West would need an extra £1K per month.

George Sofokleous, Senior Regional Director for the South West at Reed, said: “The South West has always been an attractive region for employment – it thrives with tourism, logistics and manufacturing, and it remains competitive when it comes to developments in marine life and wider environmental concerns.

“But despite being an attractive place to work, there still remains to be concerns around the cost-of-living and inflation, so it’s not surprising that more and more people are considering their financial outgoings and how well their salary contributes to their lifestyle.

“Because of this, we are currently seeing high numbers of applications for jobs, as people look to jump ship to roles that offer better salaries and benefits.”

In addition, 41 per cent of workers in the South West felt that their financial outgoings were negatively impacting their mental health, with 40 per cent not feeling confident that they will achieve their financial saving goals as planned. The research also unveiled that 53 per cent are actively looking or considering new job opportunities, with 28 per cent believing they could get paid more 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.