In the mid 1990s, a UK employer could advertise an opening for a security guard on an hourly wage of just £2 — with a requirement to bring their own dog.

Twenty years on from the introduction of a national minimum wage, such miserly job offers — noted in a paper by the labour market economist Alan Manning — are a thing of the past.

An adult rate set in 1999 at £3.60 an hour has since risen faster than average earnings, with the main rate for employees over 25, now termed the “national living wage”, set to rise to £8.21 on Monday.

Increases in this wage floor have taken place particularly rapidly since 2015 — when George Osborne, the former chancellor, set a target

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