Retail experts have suggested that the 1.8% increase in the adult National Minimum Wage rate is good news for retailers
According to the latest market reports, the small rise strikes the right balance between helping retailers to maintain and create jobs and supporting low income households
But freezing the youth rate will make only a marginal difference to the retail sector.
Reacting to the announcement British Retail Consortium (BRC) director general, Stephen Robertson said, "The Government's made a thoroughly wise decision.
"As the largest private sector employer, retail recognises its vital role in providing much needed employment. Over 98% of people working for our members are paid more than the minimum wage but this is the right move in the current economic conditions.
"This sensible increase shows appropriate restraint at a time of falling inflation and rising unemployment. 1.8 per cent is within the limits the BRC's evidence showed would allow retailers to create and maintain jobs. Any larger increase would have piled extra pressure on retailers at a time of weak customer demand.
"Freezing the youth rate may make a marginal difference to work opportunities for young people but retailers pay the rate for the job and the vast majority of under 20s working in retail are paid the adult rate."