Workers in Wales are being hit harder than the rest of the UK during the cost-of-living crisis, with the average worker wanting £20K more per year in order to live comfortably.

Research conducted by Reed revealed salary expectation gaps across the UK – with workers in Wales feeling £43,000 is a comfortable salary to live on, whereas in comparison, the average wage in the region is currently £23,000.

Pinning this against the national statistics, Wales is experiencing a more intense wage gap, with the average salary expectation gap across the UK being £14K.


As part of Reed’s annual salary guides, the recruiter analysed more than 17 million job adverts and asked 5,000 UK workers a range of questions on their salary and benefits – both current and expected.

Workers on the UK’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 Wales would need an extra £1.6K per month.

Becky Hole, Senior Regional Director for Wales at Reed, said: “The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has hit Wales a lot harder than other UK regions, with the wage expectation gap being one of the biggest.

“Remote working presents an even bigger challenge to companies looking to recruit in Wales – often offering higher salaries. This, on top of the threat from companies over the bridge on the Southeastern side of the country, means businesses in Wales need to look to benchmark what they are offering to new and existing employees in order to attract and retain people.

“Across the board, we’re seeing a higher number of job applications as people look to battle the bite of the economic climate, so it’s important that even if high salaries can’t be offered, businesses look at benefits and reward packages that really appeal on an individual level.”

In addition to this, 33 per cent of workers in Wales felt that their financial outgoings were negatively impacting their mental health, with 26 per cent not feeling confident that they will achieve their financial saving goals as planned. 

The research also unveiled that 46 per cent are actively looking for and considering new job opportunities, with 40 per cent believing they could get paid better elsewhere.