One of the main questions in the emails I received of late from people looking to move to London is the pay that they can expect. Can't really blame them as that would be the main thing I would be interested in if I were to uproot myself. Regardless of whether the economy is booming or heading south, the perennial question remain,
"What salary should I be looking at?"
Fortunately, BBC ran an article after Mayor Boris Johnson claimed that the £250,000 annual salary that he received for his weekly columns was chicken-feed, and that provided us with some interesting insights. For one, it turned out that the Mayor was wrong for £250,000 was certainly no chicken-feed. For those of you who would prefer figures to chunks of words, these were the findings of Office for National Statistics' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) on UK salaries in 2008:
Mean annual salaries in 2008
Part-time and Full-time combined: £26,020
Solely Full-time: £31,323
Median annual salaries in 2008
Part-time and Full-time combined: £20,801
Solely Full-time: £25,123
Percentile annual salaries in 2008
Top 25% - £31,759
Top 10% - £44,881
Top 5% - £58,917
Top 1% - £118,027
Top 0.6% - £150,000
Before you give yourself a pat on the back or, well, go crying to your boss, keep in mind that the figures were based on a sample of those who paid taxes through PAYE (Pay As You Earn). Self employed people are naturally excluded. Depending on how you look at it, the real figures might be quite different from those reflected above.
That's for the entire UK. Obviously, the costs of living in Manchester is vastly different if you are holed up in central London. For those working in the City of London, the average pay is currently at £50,115 (source: Financial Times).
Bearing in mind that these figures are all before taxes, are they within your expectations?