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Retailers axe almost 4,000 jobs ahead of new national minimum wage

UK retailers have cut the jobs of at least 3,700 low skilled workers, as businesses seek to find cost cutting measures ahead of the new minimum wage.

The jobs of the 3,700 low skilled workers have been made redundant due to the introduction of new technology, as retailers seek to cut costs ahead of the introduction of the national living wage, according to the Financial Times.

The jobs of low skilled workers are reportedly being replaced by more advanced automated technology, which, with the upcoming minimum wage increase, is now viable as a cheaper alternative to the workers it replaces.

“On a personal level, we all want to pay our workers more,” one executive at a large retailer that has announced redundancies told the paper.

“But there’s going to be unintended consequences from what the government is doing. Automation that used to be too expensive is now cheaper than the people it can replace.”

The national living wage is set to rise to £7.50 an hour in April, up from the current wage of £7.20 an hour, with the Government aiming to increase the rate to £9 per hour by 2020.

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