Alberta minimum wage to increase Sept. 1

Wage increasing by 35 cents to $9.75 per hour
||Last Updated: 06/13/2012

The minimum wage in Alberta will rise Sept. 1 from $9.40 per hour to $9.75 per hour, according to the provincial government. The increase will affect the earnings of about 26,000 Albertans.

There will be no change to the liquor server minimum wage, which will remain at $9.05 per hour.

“Minimum wage earners are an important part of our workforce and are employed in many different settings. These positions are often entry level and require little or no experience which is reflected in the pay level,” said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock. “This increase will help employees with rising costs while keeping the viability of employers in mind as well.”

The 35 cent increase to the general minimum wage is based on a new formula approved in 2011 that is set to take effect this fall. The formula links possible increases to an average of the annual increases in average weekly earnings (AWE) and the consumer price index (CPI) in Alberta.

In the past year, AWE rose 4.56 per cent in the province, while the CPI rose 2.44 per cent. The average of 3.5 per cent equates to a suggested increase of 33 cents per hour. For simpler calculations the increase has been rounded up to 35 cents per hour, said the government.

Alberta new general minimum wage of $9.75 per hour will rank second in Canada.

The liquor server minimum wage rate is unaffected by the new formula, and will remain at $9.05 per hour until such time as the general minimum wage reaches $10.05 per hour. From then on, the two rates will increase in tandem while retaining a $1 per hour differential.

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