Inflation begins to bite
Wage rises have failed to keep up with the increased cost of living.
Weekly earnings rose by 3.8% in the three months to November compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, this was a slowdown compared with the previous quarter, when wages rose by 4.3% and inflation rose to 5.1% in November, wiping out the effect of the increases.
The Bank of England expects inflation to increase further.
For November, employees suffered a real terms pay cut of 1%: the first such fall since July 2020.