The three months to June saw pay rises slump to 2 per cent on average. This compares with 2.3 per cent in the three months to May, Industrial Relations Services said, and is the lowest recorded in the nine years the IRS has been carrying out its survey.
The IRS, whose survey of 188 pay reviews covered more than 2.5 million workers, said that fears about job security and low inflation have helped keep rises low.
The Government's public- sector ceiling of 1.5 per cent on rises has had a major effect, but private companies have also forced rises down from around 3 per cent in the first three months of this year to 2.3 per cent in the three months to 30 June.
About 90 per cent of all pay reviews carried out in the three-month period resulted in workers getting lower rises than the year before. About a quarter were for 1.5 per cent or less, and another quarter were for 2.9 per cent or more. About a sixth involved pay freezes for a year or more.