According to recent data, salary growth in the United Kingdom did not keep pace with growing living costs between November and January.
Wages increased, but when rising costs were factored in, regular pay fell by 1.0 percent from a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It comes amid fears that the conflict in Ukraine would drive up household energy and food costs even further.
According to the new data, the jobless rate has dropped to 3.9 percent, while job openings have reached a new high.
Employees’ normal compensation, excluding incentives, increased by 3.8 percent from November to January last year, according to the ONS.
However, rising food, energy, and home goods prices have driven inflation to a 30-year high, which evaluates how the cost of living varies over time. Prices increased by 5.5 percent in the year to January, compared to 5.4 percent in December, putting more strain on household budgets.
The Resolution Foundation, a research tank, has warned that the stress on employees will become greater, with those on the lowest incomes most likely to be hit by rising expenses if gas or food supplies are disrupted by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
The ONS also stated that the UK employment market was continuing to recover from the coronavirus epidemic, based on its most recent data.
For the first time since the pandemic, the number of jobless persons fell below pre-pandemic levels, while the number of employed people increased sharply in February.
“However, the number of people out of work and not seeking for work climbed again, meaning total employment remained significantly below its pre-pandemic level,” said Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS.
“We’ve seen yet another record number of job openings, and with the unemployment rate at a fresh all-time low, demand for employees remains robust.”