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Last October, my wife and I took a short vacation to Scotland. While visiting, I asked a British labor lawyer what was the British national minimum wage. It was £6.70. At the time £1= $1.54. That meant that the British minimum wage was equal to $10.32 per hour in U.S. dollars (and $2.27 higher than Florida’s current minimum wage).
This morning, I received a note from my British counterpart that the British minimum wage for British workers 25 years of age and up had been increased in April, 2016 to £7.20. That is a 7.5% increase from when I visited. However, the British pound is now worth about $1.22. That means that although the British minimum wage was increased six months ago, as against the U.S. dollar it decreased and is now equal to just $8.81 per hour. That is a drop of 14.6%.
By voting to leave the European Union this past June, the British workers’ purchasing power has now been diminished by that same 14.6%. I’m sure the British voters who supported Brexit did not contemplate such a substantial drop in the value of their wages as against the U.S. dollar. I’m curious to see how the British national minimum wage is adjusted next in April 2017.