Hennessy’s Index: November 2014

Minimum Wage

Hennessy's Index

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

  • 4

Number of decades that the average of provincial minimum wages in Canada has remained unchanged in real terms. [Source]

  • $10.14

The average of all provincial minimum wage rates in Canada in 2013 – about the same value as the 1975 average of minimum wage rates ($10.13 expressed in 2013 dollars). [Source]

  • 1¢

Hourly minimum wage gain for Canada’s lowest paid workers over the past four decades: a single red penny. You know, that currency we thought so useless it’s no longer issued? [Source

  • 6.7

Percentage of all paid employees in Canada earning the minimum wage in 2013. That’s a five per cent increase in the portion of minimum wage earners since 1997. Ontario and Prince Edward Island are the provinces with the highest proportion of minimum wage earners. [Source

  • $18,109

Annual average before-tax earnings for a minimum wage worker in Alberta who works 35 hours a week year-round. That’s less than the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO). Alberta has one of the lowest minimum wages in Canada. [Source]

  • 2014

The first year that every province in Canada has decided to set its minimum wage at $10 dollars an hour or more. [Source

  • 1996

The year that Canada’s federal government stopped raising the federal minimum wage. It’s been dormant for nearly two decades. As a result, it’s been up to provincial governments to set the bar for the minimum wage. [Source

  • $15

The hourly rate that the New Democratic Party says should be Canada’s federal minimum wage. They suggest raising it in increments over five years. [Source]   

  • $14.49

The hourly rate that the federal minimum wage would be today if it was set at 60 per cent of the average national industrial wage which, in Canada, was $24.15 an hour in 2013. [Source] 

  • 150

The number of American cities where fast food service workers recently walked off the job in non-violent civil disobedience as part of a grassroots effort to get their sector to pay a minimum of $15 an hour. [Source] 

  • $15

The minimum wage set by Seattle’s new mayor for workers in that city. The minimum wage will rise incrementally, reaching $15 an hour for ‘schedule A’ workers in 2017. Neat fact: the implementation scheme grew out of an advisory committee consisting of labour, business and non-profit representatives. [Source]

  • 90

Percentage of cases in which two economists found no statistically significant relationship between a higher minimum wage and a negative labour market outcome in Canada between 1983 and 2012 – dispelling long-standing minimum wage mythology. [Source

November 1, 2014