Nova Scotia is raising its minimum wage to $9.20 per hour on April 1. That’s a 6.9 per cent increase from the current rate of $8.60.
The wage for inexperienced workers (less than three months’ experience in the work for which they were hired) will rise from $8.10 per hour to $8.70.
Under a schedule that was approved in 2008, the minimum wage will rise a further 4.8 per cent to $9.65 per hour on Oct. 1.
The province said employers can afford the increase, because Nova Scotia fared better than most provinces during the global recession.
“A recovery is underway and minimum wage workers should share the benefits of Nova Scotia’s comparatively strong economic performance,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More.
In January 2008, a four-person committee recommended a series of minimum wage increases to April 1, 2011. In December 2009, after reviewing the economic climate and Nova Scotia's economic situation compared to other jurisdictions, the committee reaffirmed its original recommended schedule of wage increases.
By October, a full-time employee earning minimum wage will be within reach of the projected low income cut off for a single person, the province said. The low income cut off represents the threshold where people are devoting a larger than average percentage of their income to the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing.
These recommendations are in line with Nova Scotia's ongoing Poverty Reduction Strategy that was put in place in 2009. The strategy highlights the need for people to find work and be rewarded for it, the province said.
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