What cost-of-living concerns are Brits Googling the most?

News Posted 18/10/22
New research from HR and payroll software provider Ciphr has revealed which aspects of the cost-of-living crisis are worrying Brits the most.

Given the uncertain economic outlook in the UK over the past year, and for the foreseeable future, it’s perhaps not surprising that so many more people have turned to search engines, like Google, to keep informed about the cost-of-living crisis and potential changes to their essential household bills.

Ciphr’s analysis of Google UK data shows there was a 1,590% increase in the number of searches for the term ‘cost of living’ in the year to August 2022, compared to the previous 12 months (up from 26,300 average annual searches to 444,400). The average number of monthly searches in August 2022 alone hit 110,000.

Average monthly searches about the cost of living and related topics – including energy bills, food prices, inflation, interest rates, mortgage rates, petrol prices, tax cuts, and pay rises – all increased in August 2022 (and are likely even higher now).

More people in the UK searched for the terms ‘petrol prices’ and ‘interest rates’ than any other cost-of-living concern in August 2022 (with 135,000 average monthly searches each).

Meanwhile, monthly searches for ‘energy bills’ and ‘food prices’ were 814% and 387% higher than they were in August 2021.

Searches for terms relating to pay rises also increased, with an average of 9,390 monthly searches taking place between June and August 2022. For comparison, between June and August 2021 the average monthly searches was 3,207.

Commenting on the results, Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, said: “It is an incredibly unnerving time for employees and employers across the country.

“Employees are understandably concerned about the impact of the rising cost of living, and for many, that doesn’t only mean a reduction in their disposable income, but an impact on their ability to continue to pay the bills.

“This can cause a huge amount of stress and anxiety, which can in turn impact employees’ health and performance.

“Employers, on the other hand, have a tricky balancing act to achieve, and I’d be surprised if it isn’t high on most organisations’ people agenda.

“On one hand, failing to recognise and respond to the impact the increasing cost of living is having on employees – whether it be through increased pay or bonuses, financial wellbeing support, development opportunities, creative benefits, or other means – could result in employers seeing their staff turnover increase as employees seek work elsewhere for more money.

“On the other hand, employers are also in a position where they are seeing their costs increase and possibly a downturn in revenue as customers become more cautious, therefore they will also be considering how best to protect their organisations’ financial health and, importantly, their employees’ jobs.”

To read the full report, click here.

Tweets from @SEBmagazine