Beginning October 1, the minimum wage in Alberta will jump from $13.60 per hour to $15 – the highest rate in the country.
The province believes the upcoming increase will bring an overall positive impact to the economy.
“The $15 minimum wage will make life more affordable for women, single parents, families and everyone who has been working a full-time job or more but is still struggling to put food on the table and pay their rent,” said Minister of Labour Christina Gray.
But an economics professor at the University of Alberta argues the upcoming increase could lead to the loss of roughly 25,000 jobs.
Joseph Marchand backs his prediction with calculations from when the annual increases began three years ago. He clarifies that the issue is not about people losing jobs.
“It’s just that we don’t have as much employment as we would during that growth.”
The province said it saw an increase in employment between October 2015 and August 2018.
“I believe Statistics Canada data and [from] what we are seeing, jobs have been created,” Gray argued.
The provincial government believes the increase — the third in as many years — will benefit workers and businesses alike.
Alberta’s NDP government has raised the minimum wage every year from $10.20 an hour when they were elected in 2015.
With files from Bill Fortier
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