Firms expect pay rises to remain at 2% over the next year, according to a new study.
Most workers are unlikely to receive a wage rise that matches inflation in 2015, said pay analysts XpertHR.
A survey of more than 280 companies found that around one in 14 expect to freeze the pay of their staff next year.
But some employers said they would give a pay rise to workers thought likely to be looking for another job or to those who have taken on extra duties.
Starting salaries are also expected to rise, but only in areas of skills shortages.
Sheila Attwood, of XpertHR, said: "Employees' annual pay awards are expected to be worth just 2% over the next year.
"It won't always be possible for employers to target the pinch points in the labour market through the annual pay review so many will be making one-off changes to address particular issues such as the retention and recruitment of particular workers."
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "This looks like pay misery without end.
"Britain needs, but is not getting, a pay rise. But without more spending power in people's pockets it will be hard to sustain the recovery.
"Already the deficit is much greater than expected because the tax take is down. The economy is looking more fragile than even a few months ago."