Costa Coffee raises UK staff pay again

STORY: Costa Coffee will raise pay for British store staff for the third time in a year.

That's according to the company - a unit of Coca-Cola - on Monday (March 6).

The coffee and sandwich chain said it would raise wages up to 7.3% from April 1, for more than 16,000 workers.

It said base pay rates for baristas would rise by about 70 pence per hour - or about 84 U.S. cents.

More experienced baristas may see a bigger hike, depending on their location and role.

Costa said its latest rise takes its pay increases to more than 14% over the last year.

The coffee store further said it wanted to support its workforce in what it called 'uncertain times'.

The latest rise also likely points towards a tight British labour market.

Data showed last month the country's jobless rate was close to five-decade lows and employment grew.

Costa's move comes after rival Pret announced another pay rise for staff last week.

Food retailers like Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer have also announced raises.