Starting salaries, cost of living and disposable income

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by Gradsouthwest TeamNo comments

Recent research has shown that average starting salaries in the most important UK cities for graduate employment are now averaging £20,000 – £23,000. Included in this salary band are the cities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Reading, Swindon, Southampton and Oxford in our patch. London pips them all to lead the pack at an average of nearly £25,000.

However, graduate starting salaries do not necessarily reflect the cost of living in an area, and as those of us living in the south west know, it’s not the cheapest place to live.

Looking at the relationships between graduate starting salaries, average salaries, cost of living data and local purchasing power data the research was looking to estimate actual disposable incomes.

Based on the data, it is probably wise for a graduate to seek employment in a city with a lower cost of living rather than solely focusing on the highest possible salary they can obtain. This way they can maximise their disposable income and purchasing power.

However, for employers in the south west it is worth being aware that cost of living here is not the cheapest, average starting salaries for graduates are moving upwards, and as graduates become more aware of the disposable income equation there will be more pressure on the south west graduate jobs market.

The solution? Without moving into the big questions that Government have to answer, an individual employer can look to maximise the package they are offering – bringing in more than just the baseline salary and building on the benefits of living in our amazing region, and the training and careers development they offer.

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