The gap between wage settlements and the cost of living has narrowed over the past year, figures suggest
Pay rises have been stable in recent months despite uncertainty over the economy, with median settlements worth 2.5%, according to research.
Three out of four settlements in the quarter to August were worth between 2% and 3.9%, with a fall in the number of deals above that level, said Incomes Data Services (IDS).
RPI inflation has fallen below 3% so the gap between wage settlements and the cost of living has narrowed over the past year, said the report.
A study of 450 agreements so far this year, covering five million workers, shows that most employers increased pay, with a median rise of 2.75%, although one in eight involved pay freezes, mainly in the public sector.
Alastair Hatchett, of IDS, said: "Despite the return to recession, we've found that pay settlements in 2012 have held up at around the levels we forecast last year: between 2.5% and 3%.
"Part of the reason for this is that we are operating in a two-speed economy in which some sectors are struggling but many others such as energy, pharmaceuticals and car manufacture are performing well and able to pay increases at a higher level."
Another report, by pay specialist XpertHR, confirmed that wage settlements are edging closer to inflation levels.
Spokeswoman Sheila Attwood said median pay deals had remained "remarkably stable", adding: "Pay freezes are still evident, and with inflation falling, the number of pay deals worth more than inflation is rising.
"But at present we see no evidence of a shift in the median pay settlement over the coming months."