Skills shortages are having little impact on wages, according to a snapshot survey of pay rises.
Website Monster.co.uk asked over 2,000 British employees when they last received a pay increase and found that 74% had not received a pay rise in the previous year, while 39% had not seen their salary increase in two years.
Another 14% had actually taken a pay cut. Monster put the findings down to competition for jobs. However MD of Monster Joe Slavin said he thought pay freezes could be about to end.
"We believe 2005 will be the Year of the Job Seeker and employees will be in an excellent position to ask their bosses for a pay rise," he said. "The UK economy is witnessing the highest employment rates since records began and we expect that employers will start to see a 'War for Talent', so candidates could find themselves with a very strong case to negotiate pay rises."
There were also indications that UK workers have been willing to take pay cuts to save their jobs or for a change of lifestyle with a new job offering a more fulfilling or less stressful environment.
In a recent Monster poll, of 1500 people in July 2004, the majority of respondents said that they would take a salary cut of up to 15% for a less stressful job, while 17% of participants said they would consider taking more than a 15% cut in their salary.