Alberta increases its minimum wage

Workers to earn $10.20 per hour, effective Sept. 1

On Sept. 1, minimum wage workers in the province with the lowest rates will be getting a raise.

On May 28, Alberta announced an increase to its minimum wage — from $9.95 to $10.20 per hour. The liquor server minimum wage will also rise, from $9.05 to $9.20 an hour.

Prompted by rising provincial incomes and cost of living, the increase was based on a formula that links the general wage rate to annual increases in average weekly earnings and the Consumer Price Index in Alberta.

This past year, average weekly earnings rose 3.3 per cent in the province, with the CPI rising to 1.4 per cent. That average — 2.3 per cent — translates to a 25-cent increase an hour.

“While Alberta has the lowest percentage of employees earning minimum wage in the country, these individuals form an important part of our workforce. Many work in the service and retail sectors and are gaining the experience they need to succeed,” said Kyle Fawcett, the province’s new minister of jobs, skills, training and labour. “These changes will give them a modest increase while keeping the viability of their employers in mind as well.”

When weighted against the rest of the country, a relatively low number of Albertan workers earn the minimum wage. About 25,700, or 1.5 per cent of employees earn the base wage rate, which compares to 6.8 per cent nationally, and 9.1 per cent in Ontario, according to labour ministry.

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