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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2006): Minimum wage - UK

The impact of the national minimum wage in low-wage sectors: does the Earnings Top-up Evaluation study add to our understanding?

P. Urwin, G. Jack and S. Lissenburgh

Industrial Relations Journal, vol.37, 2006, p.259-277

This article has used data from a survey of UK establishments operating in low-wage sectors of the economy which was administered just before and after the introduction of the national minimum wage in April 1999. Analyses were carried out at the level of both the establishment and the skill group. In the establishment level analyses, no evidence was found of a negative impact of the national minimum wage on levels of employment. Analyses at the level of skill group, however, suggest that the larger the particular low-paid skill group as a proportion of the establishment’s total workforce, the more likely there is to be a fall in employment between 1997 and 1999 in that particular group.

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