Industry News

Alberta's minimum wage to increase in September

May 31, 2012 - New review formula calls for increase

Edmonton... The earnings of about 26,000 Albertans will rise September 1 when the province increases the general minimum wage by approximately 3.5 per cent, or 35 cents per hour.

Alberta’s general minimum wage will rise from $9.40 per hour to $9.75 per hour. 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 Alberta, 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.

After taxes, Alberta’s 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.

“Alberta’s economy is growing again now after several years of downturn. We have a shortage of skilled labour in many fields, and minimum wage jobs are typically the entry-level positions that give younger workers the experience they need to move up into more skilled jobs,” Hancock added.

Employers and employees with questions about minimum wage can contact the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 780-427-3731, or toll-free at 1-877-427-3731, or visit employment.alberta.ca/es for more information.

Minimum wage statistics

Provincial minimum wages on September 1, 2012 (Information current as of May 31, 2012)

Rank

Province

Wage rates

Ranking after taxes

1

Ontario

$10.25 ($8.90 for liquor servers, $9.60 for students under 18 working limited number of hours)

3

1

British Columbia

$10.25 (9.00 for liquor servers)

1

3

Nova Scotia

$10.15 ($9.65 for employees who have not been employed for more than 3 months)

6

4

Manitoba

$10.00

9

4

Newfoundland
and Labrador

$10.00

8

4

Prince Edward Island

$10.00

10

4

New Brunswick

$10.00

4

8

Quebec

$9.90 ($8.55 for employees who usually receive tips)

5

9

Alberta

$9.75 ($9.05 for liquor servers)

2

10

Saskatchewan

$9.50

7

Minimum wage profile information (May 2012)

  • Fewer than 26,000 Alberta employees work at minimum wage, or 1.6 per cent of the non-self-employed workforce of 1.6 million.
  • Nationally 7 per cent of the workforce earns minimum wage. Ontario’s rate is 10.1 per cent
  • The largest group of minimum wage earners in Alberta (36.1 per cent) is aged 15-19, up 5.2 per cent from 2011.
  • Approximately 46 per cent of minimum wage earners work full time
  • Albertans, including those earning minimum wage, benefit from the highest personal exemptions in the country ($17,282.00), the province’s flat 10 per cent provincial income tax rate, no provincial sales tax and no health care premiums.
  • Alberta’s latest minimum wage profile is now available on the Human Services website.

 

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Jay Fisher
Public Affairs Officer
Human Services
Phone: 780-415-0586
Email: jay.fisher@gov.ab.ca
Follow us @ABHumanServices


 

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