Alberta minimum wage rises to $15 per hour

as of Oct. 1, 2018:

Alberta’s minimum wage rose to $15 per hour Oct. 1, an increase of $1.40 per hour, making it the highest of any province or territory in Canada.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba also raised their minimums Oct. 1 to $11.06 and $11.35 respectively.

Raising the minimum wage until it reached $15 was part of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s plan upon being elected.

In making the announcement, provincial Minister of Labour Christina Gray said it would “make life more affordable for women, single parents, families and everyone who has been working a full-time job or more but is still struggling to put food on the table and pay their rent.”

In a news release, the government said that, based on a 40-hour work week, the increase would add $2,912 more per year to the income of minimum wage workers.

Alberta government statistics indicate more than a quarter million Albertans earn less than $15 per hour and nearly two-thirds of those are women. More than half work full time.

The increase hasn’t been universally welcomed amid suggestions it will burden business owners and result in layoffs to curb labour expenses.

The Fraser Institute, a political think-tank, issued a recent report indicating 90 percent of minimum wage earners do not live in low-income households as defined by Statistics Canada.

“In fact, 50.1 percent of Alberta minimum-wage earners in 2017 were teenagers or young adults aged 15 to 24, and among this group, 85.1 per cent lived with their parents or other relatives,” the institute said in a news release.

“Minimum-wage hikes can lead to higher prices for goods and services, disproportionately affecting the poor, as employers pass the increased cost of labour onto consumers in the form of higher prices.”

  • Alberta: $15
  • British Columbia: $12.65
  • Saskatchewan: $11.06
  • Manitoba: $11.35
  • Ontario: $14
  • Quebec: $12
  • New Brunswick: $11.25
  • Nova Scotia: $11
  • Prince Edward Island: $11.55
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $11.15
  • Yukon: $11.51
  • Northwest Territories: $13.46
  • Nunavut: $13

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