It is the big unspoken issue of the election. Voters who, despite is available on task, are not experiencing any better off.
It is also the major economic trend in Britain – the “living standards squeeze”.
And the most recent data suggests that it is about to tighten.
A survey of more than 1,000 firms, published on Monday by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development( CIPD) and the employment agency Adecco Group, suggests that businesses belief average salary rises this year will be simply 1 %.
That is the lowest figure for three years and well below the 1.5% the same survey proposed three months ago.
With inflation at 2.3% – a figure that is expected to rise aggressively when April’s number is published on Tuesday – employers are clearly not preparing for higher wage settlements.
Why? Well, according to the Bank of England, much of it comes down to doubts about the Brexit process.
Companies are still nervous about an economically disruptive exit from the European Union and are hoarding currency rather than rewarding employees.
People in task are likewise sustaining an overhang from the financial crisis, which left many under threat of unemployment.
That did not materialise, with employees often sacrificing wage increases for job security.
The recession of 2009 also meant that businesses expended reductions in profit improving improvements such as brand-new machine or technological enhancements.
Productivity – the process of developing asset – suffered, and Britain’s chronic difficulty of low productivity was exacerbated. The UK is in the slow lane
In the time it takes a British proletarian to give 1, a German proletarian has earned 1.35.
UK productivity is also below that of France and America, and is not likely to return to its trend proliferation degree of 2% per annum until 2020.
Some of that is down to unique ingredients that followed the financial crisis and some outfall from the referendum.
But, the 2008 crash and “Brexcuses” are not the whole picture.
There are also more fundamental problems with the UK economy.
Too many industries are inadequately run, as Andy Haldane, the director economist of the Bank of England, has pointed out.
If this “long tail” of firms improved the lane they operated, Britain’s productivity headache could be treated.
But there is little evidence of that as yet.
“The good report in this latest survey is that hire confidence persists positive, with sectors like manufacturing and production proving especially buoyant, ” supposed Gerwyn Davies of the CIPD.
“The bad news is that there is a real risk that a significant proportion of employees will see a fall in their living standards as its first year advancements, due to a slowdown in basic salary and beliefs of inflation grows over the next few months.
“This could create higher levels of economic insecurity and could have serious implications for consumer spending, which has helped to support economic proliferation in recent months.
“The weak salary data is no surprise given the continued weak productivity growth in the UK, ” Mr Davies said.
With less than four weeks to go before the legislative elections, one thing is becoming clear. Whoever wins on 8 June will be facing a difficult opposition.
Not the one sitting opposite the “Ministers ” in the House of Commons. But the economy throughout the country, where people will be facing the fact that they have worked hard all year simply to verify their income, in real terms, fall.