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Could a rise in living wage lead to more robots in the workplace?

The rapid increase in the living wage could mean that more jobs are replaced by robots, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned.

With the hourly rate set to top £8.50 per hour by 2020, more jobs may be at risk of automation. Firms are more likely to invest in robots and computerised systems if the alternative is more expensive labour. IDS research claims a minimum wage that is "too high" could affect the very people it is supposed to help.

Agnes Norris Keiller, an economist at the IFS and an author of the new research, said: "The fact that there seemed to be a negligible employment impact of a minimum at £6.70 per hour - the 2015 rate - does not mean that the same will be true of the rate of over £8.50 per hour that is set to apply in 2020.

"Beyond some point, a higher minimum must start affecting employment, and we do not know where that point is.

"The fact that the higher minimum will increasingly affect jobs that appear to be more automatable is an additional reason why extremely careful monitoring is required.

However the research highlighted that the use of technology to replace some jobs can create new jobs that are complementary to that technology.