Minimum wage in Alberta increases to $13.60 per hour on Oct. 1

Saturday, September 30th, 2017 12:26pm

Alberta’s lowest-paid workers will see their hourly wage increase to $13.60 from $12.20. This is the third step in the Government of Alberta’s gradual phase-in of a $15-per-hour minimum wage by Oct. 1, 2018.

“All hard-working people deserve to earn enough money to support themselves and their families,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour. “This increase will boost the spending power of low-income people, which supports Alberta’s economic recovery.”

"Low-wage earners are predominantly female, over the age of 20 and employed in full-time permanent positions,” said Susan Morrissey, executive director, Edmonton Social Planning Council.

More than 292,000 Albertans earn less than $15 per hour. More than 59 per cent of low-income earners are women. Over half work full time and 79 per cent have permanent jobs. Almost 40 per cent have children, meaning there are more than 115,000 working parents earning $15 per hour or less. The main industries that employ minimum-wage and low-wage earners are accommodation and food services, retail trade and other services such as repair and maintenance.

The increase will mean low-wage Albertans have more money to spend on their basic needs, such as housing, transportation, school supplies, clothing and groceries. This increased spending power, in turn, helps stimulate our economy. Employers will also benefit from increased employee productivity and job satisfaction, as well as decreased turnover and training costs.