New report calls on Alberta government to freeze minimum wage
A new study released on Wednesday hopes to change the NDP government’s mind about increasing Alberta’s minimum wage, saying that jobs could be on the line if the increase remains in place.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business conducted a poll back in February and says that local small business owners demand the government to change its stance on minimum wage.
Alberta’s minimum wage currently sits at $13.60 an hour following an increase in September.
Business owners have been having trouble keeping up with the annual increases ever since the NDP announced it would increase the rate to $15 per hour in 2014.
In the report, the CFIB says that those businesses have also been forced to make several staffing changes since that time, including:
- reducing or eliminating plans for new/additional workers (55 percent)
- reducing of eliminating plans to hire young workers (52 percent)
- raising prices (46 percent)
- reducing staff hours (43 percent)
- reducing number of employees (42 percent)
The CFIB says that businesses want the government to freeze the current minimum wage at its current level.
“Hikes to entry level wages go too far, too fast and ultimately positions for young workers are disappearing. The Alberta government must be held accountable and hit the pause button until a thorough economic impact assessment is released,” said Amber Ruddy, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs, in a release.
Back in 2014, Premier Rachel Notley said the $15 per hour minimum wage will help lower income Albertans and stimulate the economy.
The minimum wage is set to go up to $15 per hour on October 1.