The traditional north-south divide on pay has disappeared, according to new research from management consultancy Hay Group.
The Real Pay in the UK report, which compares regional pay variations against local cost of living, shows that employees in Scotland, Yorkshire and the north-east are significantly better off than the rest of the country.
While high salaries in central London more than compensate for the high cost of living, salaries for employees in the south-east, south-west and east Anglia leave employees relatively out of pocket.
Salaries in the midlands are struggling to keep pace with the increasing cost of living in the region, and real terms salaries in Northern Ireland are the lowest in the UK.
The study examined detailed salary and cost of living information at all levels of employment, from unskilled work to senior management, in order to reveal real pay levels for 13 regions across the UK.
“Employers around the country can no longer rely on old notions such as the North-South divide when deciding pay levels,” said Ben Frost, reward consultant at Hay Group.
“Local economic conditions are varied and complex, and employers must take them into account if they are to attract the best talent with salaries that provide genuine buying power in their region.”