Business development · 9 November 2016

London living costs could lead to shortage of qualified workers

london living costs
High living costs brought the average disposable income for London’s workers to £65 a month

Despite offering the highest average salary in Britain, the significant living costs in London have made professional workers in the capital the UK’s poorest, according to new research.

Job-site CV Library revealed that typical monthly living costs in London were £2,318.60. Deducting this figure from the average wage of £2,383.72 left a disposable income of just £65 workers.

The research provided a stark comparison between London and other UK cities – particularly those in Scotland. The average disposable income for professional workers in Glasgow was calculated at £1,230 each month.

Commenting on the numbers, Lee Biggins, founder of CV Library, warned that business owners could be faced with a drain of sufficiently qualified staff, as the cost of housing in particular causes professionals to seek employment in other parts of the UK.

“Current house prices in the capital reinforce how unobtainable it is for working Londoners to get on the property ladder. Eventually, this could result in people retreating from London, in search of areas which offer a better state of living,” he said in a statement.

Biggins added that despite the “exciting job prospects” on offer in the capital, “the high living costs in London means that the vast majority of workers are left high and dry after pay day”.

He concluded by suggesting that state incentives to remain in London may not help retain a skilled source of staff.

Biggins said: “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.”

Ambitious entrepreneurs are among those being tempted to other UK regions, and in a growing number of cases, other European cities that provide more welcoming conditions for startups to grow alongside lower living costs

The implications of Brexit mean that the capital is set to lose all EU funding initiatives and the access to a wide pool of European workers.

In July, Berlin senator Cornelia Yzer said that she had been approached by “over 100” UK startups that reacted to the UK’s decision to leave the EU by targeting a move to the German city, drawn to the cheap rates for housing and commercial space.

Find out what seven cities are looking to lure entrepreneurs away from London.

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Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.


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