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Robot warning over living wage rise

The rapid increase in the living wage could mean that more jobs are replaced by robots, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned.

The think tank said with the hourly rate set to top £8.50 per hour by 2020, more jobs may be at risk of automation.

Firms are more likely to invest in robots and computerised systems if the alternative is more expensive labour.

Report author Agnes Norris Keiller said "beyond some point a higher minimum must start affecting employment".

"We do not know where that point is.

"The fact there seemed to be a negligible employment impact of a minimum [wage] at £6.70 per hour - the 2015 rate - does not mean the same will be true of the rate of over £8.50 per hour that is set to apply in 2020," the research economist at the IFS added.

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