More than 2 in 5 (42%) Brits are struggling to make ends meet, finds new data from global matching and hiring platform Indeed, released two weeks before the UK General Election.

According to the survey of over 2,000 British people, those in the North East of England feel most comfortable, with less than a third (32%) struggling, while almost half (48%) of those in Scotland say their paycheck isn’t keeping pace.

Brits continue to feel the pinch 

The cost of living is top of mind for many voters, with almost half (47%) feeling anxious about their current financial situation. To address this, 49% say that bringing costs down should be a top priority for the next government, while 39% say the elected party should bring wages in line with the cost of living.

With almost 1 in 5 (18%) Brits having had no change in their salary since the start of the cost of living crisis in 2021, and 15% even experiencing a decrease in their pay, all eyes are on wages as the General Election approaches.

Brits who have had a pay rise have seen a mean increase of 3% which although exceeds the current inflation rate of 2%, significantly lags peak rates of 11.1% in October 2022. And while falling inflation has been cited as a sign that the economy is “turning a corner”, 3 in 5 (60%) say they don’t feel any better off despite this fall.

Those in the North East have seen the highest pay hikes with a mean salary increase of 4.9%, with the East Midlands seeing the lowest rise of 1.7%. Meanwhile, those in London experienced a mean increase of 3.1%.

Younger voters take the brunt of financial strain 

Millennials (aged 27-42) are particularly feeling the pinch with more than half (52%) saying making ends meet with their current salary is difficult.

Almost half (47%) have had to source additional income through a second job or “side hustle” to supplement their salary. 42% of Gen Z respondents (16-26) have had to do the same compared to 34% of all people. Millennials are also most likely to work from home due to the rising cost of transport (44% vs 30% of all people).

With rising living costs and the number of young adults who own a home falling in recent decades, millennials feel the most anxious about their current financial situation (55% vs 48% Gen Z and 47% of all people). Gen Z and millennial voters are also most likely to feel more insecure than ever about their future job prospects (40% vs 30% of all people).

What salary is considered to make you “wealthy” in the UK today?

With a significant proportion of Brits struggling to make ends meet, UK voters say that an individual income of £96k is needed to make you wealthy today, with households needing a combined income of £115.5k to be considered well-off. 16% even say that households need to earn over £200k to be considered wealthy.

Expectations around what makes you well-off rises with the salary bracket, with those already earning a household income of over £100k believing you need to be making £164.5k per household to be wealthy.

In terms of a comfortable standard of living, Brits believe an individual income of £38,130 is needed, around 6% higher than the average UK salary of £35,822.

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist, Indeed said:

After grappling with the cost of living crisis for over two years, it’s no surprise that wages are front of mind for voters. There’s a clear call from the British people for the elected government to further ease financial pressures, and we’d expect this to remain front of mind for the public long after the winning party is decided.

Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist, Indeed

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.