Brexit drives up wages in the UK by ending free movement

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Staff are enjoying significantly higher salaries as Brexit, the pandemic and the furlough scheme cut competition for jobs – in an early sign that leaving the EU is benefitting lower-skilled workers in the UK.

Data from recruitment firm Reed, first reported by The Sunday Times, has found that average salaries this year have risen by 18pc across hospitality and catering, 10pc in retail and 4pc overall.

It follows widespread reports that bosses in retail and hospitality, in particular, have been struggling to fill jobs as they reopen following coronavirus lockdowns, with some forced to cut opening hours because they cannot find the staff.

According to Reed, the average salary in hospitality is now £26,888 compared to £22,701 last year and £23,425 in 2019. The average salary in retail is now £29,310, it said, compared to £26,758 last year and £23,425 in 2019.

Economists said the staff shortages were due to factors connected to the pandemic, such as the furlough scheme, students studying from home and people having moved out of big cities, as well as Brexit.

Photo: Offices at Canary Wharf in central London, Britain. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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