Salary calculator: is your pay keeping up with inflation? See how big your real-terms pay cut has been in 2023

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If you are planning to enter salary negotiations, our salary calculator will show you how big of a pay rise you need to ask for to not be left out of pocket. 

Workers across the UK continue to feel the pinch as wages fail to keep up with near record high levels of inflation.

Despite a slight drop in the last few months, inflation is still sky high in the UK.  The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) stood at 10.1% in January 2023, according to figures calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), meaning products and services cost on average 10.1% more than they did a year ago.

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With annual pay reviews due in the next few weeks to coincide with the new financial year in April, workers across the country will be looking for sizable wage increases to cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis which has triggered a wave of strikes across the public sector in the last year.

Junior doctors in England are the latest public sector workers to take industrial action. Today (14 March) they enter a second day of walkouts over pay and conditions. The British Medication Association (BMA) is asking for a 35% pay rise – arguing junior doctors in England will have suffered a 26% real-terms cut to their pay since 2008/09.

Junior doctors are not the only workers who have experienced a real-terms pay cut. In the last year many workers across the UK remain out of pocket as employers fail to match salaries with rising inflation. A recent report by the ONS found the professional and scientific industry was the only industry where wages kept up with inflation in 2022.

How does your monthly wage packet compare? Use the interactive salary calculator at the bottom of this story to see how big of a pay rise you need to ask for this year if your salary is to keep up with inflation.

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How high is inflation in the UK – and is it falling?

The CPI is calculated monthly by the ONS and has been the UK’s official measure since 1996. It is calculated using a typical basket of goods and services. Rising costs have impacted everything from the food on the supermarket shelves to petrol in the car. In October 2022 , inflation reached a 41-year high at 11.1%.


Recently there have been positive signs that inflation is dropping – although not  as quickly as many would  hope. In January 2023, it dropped 0.4 percentage points on December’s figure, which was at 10.5%.


How does my salary compare?

If you are planning to enter salary negotiations with your employer, our salary calculator will show you how big of a pay rise you need to ask for to not be left out of pocket.  It is based on the most recent CPI figures which only cover until January – so we can only tell you what your salary from January 2022 would need to have risen to as of January 2023 to have kept up with inflation.

With inflation at 10.1%, a worker who took home £25,000 last January would have had to earn £27,513 now  for their pay to have remained stable (or stable as of January). If the worker’s salary had not changed since it would mean they are more than £2,513 out of pocket.

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You can work out how much  cash you are losing out on by typing in the box below what you earned in January last year to find out the equivalent figure in January 2023 prices.

The calculator does not take into account National Insurance contributions.

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