By Gemma Roberts
Workers could be set for a "hard year of slog" in 2013, a report has warned. Reduced pay, longer hours, and a lack of job creation can be expected in the new year, the director of The Jobs Economist said.
Dr John Philpott said that employees will continue to adopt a "grin and bear it attitude" as unemployment is expected to reach 2.63 million.
Youth unemployment is forecast to fall below 900,000, while long-term unemployment will remain broadly the same, said the report.
The 120,000 rise in joblessness will arise from workforce growth surpassing jobs creation, Dr Philpott said.
Wage increases will be impacted by the lack of vacancies, with rises below inflation, and pay cuts possible.
Dr Philpott said that next year's jobless figure is only expected to rise moderately and overall the outlook is relatively optimistic.
But he added that: "The fact that this can be considered good news merely underlines the harsh reality of current economic austerity."
He said that 2013 is likely to be another "hard slog", with those in employment likely to be working longer hours and further squeezes on living standards for workers and the unemployed.
However he predicted that private firm workers were unlikely to offer extensive support to public sector cuts protests.
He added that: "Hard pressed private sector workers are likely to keep their heads down and get on with the job rather than actively stand shoulder to shoulder with striking public sector trade unionists.
"Workplace disgruntlement in the private sector will instead take the form of simmering distrust of bosses, especially those who adopt the trendy management speak mantra of 'employee engagement' while piling the pressure on overstretched staff," he said.