Increased minimum wage will cost jobs, say retailers

 
Julian Harris
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THE NEW higher minimum wage will stifle job creation in the UK’s shops, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

The national minimum wage was hiked by 2.5 per cent to £6.08 per hour, taking effect over the weekend.

“This is a disproportionate rise which makes it harder for retailers to maintain and create jobs in the current climate,” the BRC said.

“Retail employs nearly three million people and a third of our staff are 25 or younger,” added BRC director general, Stephen Robertson. “Retailers are offering young people their first step on the career ladder and backing that up with training and development opportunities.” The group said next year’s rise should be no higher than 2.1 per cent.

The government will come under increasing pressure to limit the increase or even lower the level of the minimum wage, especially for younger workers.