Sunday October 16, 2016
Does raising the minimum wage hurt low income workers more than it helps?
Four provinces raised their legislated minimum wage this month ...and some businesses are cutting employees as a result. Does setting a basic living standard hurt low income workers?
More from this episode:
- 'Youth and adult wages should not be equal': student
They are the fast food workers, asking if you want fries with your order; cashiers, scanning your items at your favourite big box retailer; they are serving coffee; delivering pizzas; cleaning offices. Over a million people across Canada toil for minimum wage. Often young, female, or new immigrants, working hard and some say not getting ahead.
This month, four provinces raised their minimum wage—modest increases from just over a dime, to a dollar. The provinces are led by Alberta's NDP government, which will boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018. The rationale is that higher minimum wages help the working poor, by putting more money in people's pockets and they spend that extra cash in the community.
But some in the business community warn these minimum wage hikes come at a steep price. That it will force businesses to trim workers' hours, lay off employees, raise costs to consumers, and that ends up hurting the poor and the economy.
Our question: Can raising the minimum wage hurt low income workers?
Armine Yalnizyan, Senior economist, Centre for Policy Alternatives
Stephen Gordon, Professor of Economics at Laval University in Quebec City and blogger for Macleans magazine.
David Green, Professor in the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC and an International Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London
- Alberta's minimum wage now highest among provinces
- Cineplex hikes movie ticket prices after minimum wage increases
- Ontario minimum wage rising to $11.40 per hour
- P.E.I. minimum wage up to $11 on Saturday
- Minimum wage in Ontario is still at a minimum, critics say
- Restaurants, bars taking wait-and-see approach to minimum wage hike
- Sask. minimum wage to rise to $10.72 in October
- Alberta government won't back down from minimum wage hike
- Getting by on minimum wage in Canada's biggest cities: Don Pittis
- Not all Alberta businesses opposed to $15 minimum wage
- P.E.I. minimum wage increases irk restaurant industry
- Minimum wage increases bad for business: Chamber of Commerce
Globe and Mail
- Restaurants in Alberta to cut hours, staff due to hike in minimum wage
- Small-business owners in Alberta brace for minimum-wage hike
- Alberta to raise minimum wage to $15, despite opposition
- Stephen Gordon: The high cost of minimum wage
- Jen Gerson: Alberta's minimum wage hike addresses a problem the province doesn't actually have
- Alberta minimum wage to officially rise to $15 an hour by 2018, as small businesses call hike 'job-killing'
- Philip Cross: How labour laws are gutting Ontario jobs