The national minimum wage increase of 15p an hour, announced after recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, will benefit nearly a million workers, the government has announced.
Ministers accepted the commission's recommendations to raise the minimum wage, which will increase by 15p an hour to £6.08 in October.
The new adult rate is £6.08, and the statutory wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will increase by 6p to £4.98 an hour, while the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds will increase by 4p to £3.68 an hour and the rate for apprentices by 10p to £2.60 an hour.
Business secretary Vince Cable said more than 890,000 of Britain's lowest-paid workers will gain from the changes, which reflect the economic uncertainty but protect the lowest-paid workers.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "It's clear from speaking to businesses that a significant number are having to freeze wages in 2011. These changes will be a barrier to job creation, and ultimately economic recovery."
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "These rises are relatively modest, but they will provide a welcome pay boost for around 840,000 low-paid workers. With research suggesting that workers on the minimum wage spend 100% of their pay rises where they live or work, these increases should provide a modest stimulus to local economies."