Alberta’s minimum wage set to go up again on the weekend
The province’s minimum wage will be going up again soon as part of the NDP’s pledge to increase the rate to $15 per hour by next year.
Starting on Saturday, the minimum wage will increase to $13.60 an hour, which is up from $12.20.
However, a new report from the University of Alberta says that the hike will result in 25,000 lost jobs. The study says the same amount of jobs have been lost in the province since the changes began back in 2014.
Another report, from the C.D. Howe Institute, recommends economic conditions need to be taken into account when considering minimum wage increases.
“In an energy boom-and-bust economy, you would either wait for the energy boom to stimulate labour demand on its own and put these increases through or pair it with something like a job creation tax credit,” says Joseph Marchard with the University of Alberta.
Meanwhile, the province says it is seeing employment increases in a number of industries affected by the minimum wage increases.
“We are working to monitor what's happening in Alberta, we're seeing employment increases in a lot of industries impacted by this policy and we will continue to work with businesses,” Alberta’s Labour Minister Christina Gray said.
Businesses that CTV Calgary spoke to say the wage hike is tough to take.
“The timing is truly unfortunate with the downturn and state of the economy, but the minimum wage at least we have some control. We can trim hours or change procedures to accommodate that,” said Edward Cavell with Livingstone & Cavell Extraordinary Toys.
Next October, the minimum wage will rise to $15 per hour, up from just over $10 an hour back in 2014.