Minimum wage increases announced despite worry of rising unemployment

Government pledges tailored support for those out of work for more than a year, but it is expected that unemployment could peak at 2.6 million in 2021. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged billions of pounds in funding to help the long-term unemployed into work as part of plans to support the economy during the coming year.

Sunak has announced he will create a £3bn ‘Restart’ programme to provide those who have been out of work for more than 12 months with tailored job-seeking support. It is expected that unemployment will continue to rise well into 2021.

The Government will also accept the advice of the Low Pay Commission by increasing the national living wage by 2.2% to £8.91 per hour, as well as extending eligibility to those over the age of 23. The national minimum wage will also receive an increase. A full-time worker on the national living wage will see their annual earnings increase by £345 next year.

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