Minimum wage to rise in Alberta

  • Mar. 11, 2009 1:00 p.m.

Alberta’s minimum wage will increase beginning April 1, 2009 to be the second highest minimum wage in the country.

Minimum wage earners will see an increase to $8.80 an hour, a rise of 40 cents from the current $8.40 an hour.

The five per cent increase in wage is to reflect the 2008 growth to Alberta’s average weekly earnings.

Hector Goodreau, Minister of Employment and Immigration said in a press release that it is important to keep the minimum wage strong during the current economic situation.

“We want to ensure that Albertans earning minimum wage are as protected as possible during these changing times,” said Goodreau. “While a vast majority of Albertans earn much more than the minimum wage, we can’t forget about those lower-income occupations.”

There are 20,000 minimum wage earners in Alberta and most of those are workers who are 15 to 19 years of age and work in the accommodation and food services industry.

The average wage a person makes an hour in Alberta is $23.90.

Starting in April Alberta’s minimum wage will the second highest among the provinces in Canada. But the rank will not last long because Saskatchewan, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador will outdo Alberta when their scheduled minimum wage increases come into effect around the months of May and July.

In June 2007 linking the minimum wage to the province’s average weekly earning was first adopted. In April 2008 Alberta’s minimum wage went up from $8 to $8.40. The government policy shows that if Alberta’s average weekly earnings stay the same or decrease from one year to the next, the minimum wage will remain the same.