Chancellor George Osborne has suggested that the national minimum wage could rise to £7 an hour.
That'd be a hefty increase from the current rate of £6.31 an hour for workers aged 21 and over. It's also worrying for an economy that's only just started recovering.
A hike of that magnitude - 69p per hour - would be great than all the increases since 2008 combined.
If the minimum wage exceeds the productivity of an individual seeking work, then an employer would be hard pressed to find a reason to hire them.
The economic evidence agrees that minimum wage hikes deter job growth.
One paper, "Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics" found that "the minimum wage reduces net job growth, primarily through its effect on job creation by expanding establishments."
Commenting on the announcement of the above-inflation rise, the Adam Smith Institute's research director Sam Bowman said that the hike "runs an indefensibly high risk of creating more unemployment and harming the very people it is supposed to help."
Pretty sure a >60p increase would be the biggest NMW increase ever. Implies a massive confidence in strength of the labour market.— Mike Bird (@Birdyword) January 16, 2014