XpertHR’s pay data for the three months to the end of July 2011 show that the median basic pay increase was 2% for the quarter, lower than the three months to June 2011 (2.2%) but identical to the level in the same period in 2010.

According to the research, pay awards have been below the level of RPI inflation since the end of 2009 and there is no indication that this will change before the end of the year.

XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood added that pay awards are likely to remain subdued in the near future.

“The fragile job market, combined with consumption and demand continuing to be affected by factors including rising food and oil prices, means that we expect no significant, if any, increase in median pay awards for the rest of the summer,” Attwood commented.

The XpertHR research found that, apart from affordability, a key factor in the subdued nature of pay awards was the weakness of the labour market.

The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics showed a rise in the unemployment rate, with many workers forced to take on part-time instead of full-time employment .