Despite eye-watering price rises which show no sign of easing, salary increases are still not in line with inflation.

New data from Michael Page Pulse highlights that this is felt by seven in ten (69%) workers.

This leads to a similar proportion also reporting concerns around the cost of living (71%).

The data from Michael Page Pulse paints a picture of dissatisfaction and concern among the nation’s workforce and may ring alarm bells for businesses which are already struggling to attract staff.

With households feeling the squeeze from soaring energy bills and rapidly increasing interest rates, almost half (49%) of UK workers feel they’re not being paid fairly for the hours they work.


Salary increases: a disconnect

 The research highlights a disconnect between workers and employers when it comes to sharing financial success, with over half (55%) of respondents saying their company has performed strongly financially and should be sharing more of the revenue with employees.

The data also uncovered geographical differences in office workers’ satisfaction with their salary. The region which reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction was the North West of England, with only 36 percent saying that they felt their pay was fair, compared to 63 percent of workers in the Capital.


Salary benchmarks

Half (50%) of workers revealed that they knew the average salary benchmark for their role (in the same industry) was higher than they are paid.

The results show that younger workers between the ages of 18-24 were most clued up on what they should be earning, with 61 percent claiming they knew the average industry salary for their role compared to only 29 percent of workers aged 55 and above.

 Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at Michael Page, commented:Workers across the nation are witnessing the cost-of-living crisis first hand, whether that’s filling up their car with fuel or discovering yet another inflated bill on their doormat. It’s not surprising that people are scrutinising their incomings and re-evaluating their pay checks.

“These findings are a wakeup call for employers: many workers aren’t satisfied. It is time for companies to look seriously at new and creative ways to attract and retain staff. In some instances, that may not be salary focussed, as employers worry about increasing their cost base against the backdrop of an impending recession. So, what else can you offer? Our new Pulse survey shows that annual leave and flexibility top the charts when it comes to what employees most value after salary, so there are still plenty of other ways for business leaders to take action to secure the best talent.”

These are the first findings of the Michael Page Pulse, a new initiative from Michael Page to help track and understand the ever-evolving sentiment of the UK workforce. Combined with insights from Michael Page consultants, the Michael Page Pulse aims to bring the voices of employees to the forefront of conversations around work and provide insight into their concerns and expectations.






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.