Pay rise warning: UK areas with the smallest wage increases

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Aberdeen had the lowest wage growth in the UK over the past seven years, according to a study. The city’s average wage grew by just three percent between 2014 and 2021, eight times less than the UK average of 24 percent.

The study was carried out by money transfer experts Xendpay, using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and comparing monthly wages from July 2014 to May 2021 across the whole of the UK.

The second and third lowest increases also occurred in Scotland, with the Shetland Islands seeing half the growth of the national average at 12 percent, and the Outer Hebrides wage rising by only 13 percent.

Scotland saw the lowest increase of all UK countries, growing by 17 percent compared to 24 percent in England, 23 percent in Wales and 20 percent in Northern Ireland.

The wage in Caithness and Sutherland grew by 14 percent, as well as in Ross and Cromarty and Mid and East Antrim, Northern Ireland’s slowest growing borough.

South Teesside saw the least growth in England at 15 percent, with Angus and Dundee City, Clackmannanshire and Fife and the Orkney Islands seeing the same level of growth and rounding out the bottom 10.

The lack of growth will be particularly concerning for inhabitants of Aberdeen City, where the age group 18-64 makes up 67 percent of the overall population, according to 2019 figures from AdminStat.

Dundee City also has a high percentage of population in the ‘working age’ range, with 64.6 percent of people aged between 18 and 64.

In contrast, the areas with the highest salary increases were all in London, where the cost of living is higher than anywhere else in the UK.


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According to Numbeo, one would need around £3,300 in Manchester to maintain the same standard of life that one could have with £4,800 in London.

Hackney and Newham saw the biggest growth, with an increase of 45 percent since 2014, more than double the UK average.

It is a good thing wages have increased to such a degree, as the average property sold in Hackney over the last year cost £712,161 according to Rightmove.

Wages increased by 40 percent in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Haringey and Islington. These three boroughs tied for the second highest rise.

The average price of a property sold in Kensington or Chelsea in the last year is well over £2 million, an eye-watering sum.

The next highest increase over the last seven years was 39 percent, seen in Camden and City of London and Lewisham and Southwark.

Lambeth saw a rise of 35 percent, ahead of Westminster and Wandsworth with 34 percent and Tower Hamlets ranking as the tenth highest growth at 33 percent.

Those numbers are more than ten times the growth in Aberdeen, showing a stark discrepancy between the economic picture in Scotland and England.

Wales are the only one of the four British nations not to have a borough ranked in the top ten or bottom ten for wage growth.

On the results of the study, a spokesperson for Xendpay said: “It’s fascinating to see such discrepancies in wage growth across the UK, especially over a period as long as seven years.”

“While many will be focused on wage increase or decrease over the past year, it’s important to step back and take a wider view of things and assess the trends over a longer term.”

Xendpay aims to reduce the cost of international money transfers while maintaining the best possible customer service.

It provides a no-fee international money transfer service to bank accounts, offering exchange rates usually only available to multinational corporations, without compromising on transfer times or reliability.

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