Canada’s minimum wages set to increase

TORONTO—Minimum wage has increased or is set to rise in nearly every Canadian province this year.

Provincial minimum wages at years end in 2011 and 2014

TORONTO—Minimum wage has increased or is set to rise in nearly every Canadian province this year.

In Alberta, it will increase to $10.20 on Sept. 1 following annual hikes since 2012.

On
Oct. 1, Saskatchewan and Manitoba’s wage will increase to $10.20 and
$10.70 respectively. The most recent rise in Saskatchewan was in 2012
from $9.50 to $10. Manitoba saw wages increase in 2012 and 2013 to
$10.25 and then $10.45.  

In Ontario, minimum wage increased in June to $11. The previous rise was in 2010 to $10.25.

Quebec’s
minimum wage workers saw an increase to their base rate in May to
$10.35. In la belle province, hourly wages increased in 2012 to $9.90
and in 2013 to $10.15.  

Nova Scotia saw its minimum wage
increase by 10 cents to $10.40. It has seen slight raises for more than
three consecutive years, increasing from $10 to $10.15 in 2012 and to
$10.30 in 2013.

Prince Edward Island will incur two increases
this year. In June, minimum wage increased from $10 to $10.20 and will
be set at $10.35 in October.

Newfoundland and Labrador last saw a
minimum wage increase in 2010 to $10. In October, the province’s rate
will increase to $10.25 with another 25-cent hike the following year.

In
the Yukon, minimum wage increased from $10.54 to $10.72 this year. In
2012, the territory saw two bumps, bringing the minimum wage to $9.27
and then $10.30.

Minimum wage in Nunavut, British Columbia, New
Brunswick and Northwest Territories will hold at $11, $10.25, $10 and
$10, respectively.
 

Minimum wage rates in the Northwest
Territories and Nunavut have not changed since 2011. The last increase
in B.C. was in May 2012 from $9.50 to $10.25. In New Brunswick, minimum
wage has not moved since April 2012, when it saw a 50-cent hike.

A
lower minimum wage exists in some provinces for liquor servers or
employees who usually receive gratuities: Alberta ($9.20), B.C. ($9),
Ontario ($9.55) and Quebec ($8.90).

New StatsCan study

According to Statistics Canada, the average national minimum wage amounted to $10.14 in 2013.

In
a study released on July 16 entitled The ups and downs of minimum wage,
1975 to 2013, analysts looked at “real minimum wage” over the years by
translating the average of provincial wages over the time period into
2013 dollars to account for inflation and allow for comparison.

According
to the data, real minimum wage was “almost identical” last year and in
1975 at $10.13, but it varied within the time period. The real minimum
wage declined to $7.53 in 1986 and increased to $8.81 in 1996. Up until
2003, it remained stable at about $8.50.

Since then, real minimum wage has increase by almost $2, from $8.27.

Last
year, the proportion of Canadian workers earning minimum wage was 6.7
per cent, up from five per cent in 1997. According to StatsCan, the
increased proportion—which mostly occurred between 2003 and 2010—was to
some degree a result of increases in minimum wage rates in many
provinces.

According to StatsCan, 17 per cent of employees in
the retail trade and 27 per cent of those in the accommodations and
foodservice sector were paid the minimum wage rate in 2013. These
sectors accounted for more than 60 per cent of those earning minimum
wage in Canada.

The proportion of employees paid at minimum wage
varied by province in 2013, led by P.E.I. (9.3 per cent) and Ontario
(8.9 per cent). Alberta had the lowest rate at 1.8 per cent.