Minimum wage rise won’t have big impact locally

Red Deer’s strong labour market means the impending increase to the minimum wage will have limited impact, according to the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce.

Red Deer’s strong labour market means the impending increase to the minimum wage will have limited impact, according to the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce.

But unionized workers are on average ahead of non-unionized workers in Red Deer, earning $6-plus more an hour ,according to research done by the Canadian Labour Congress.

Reg Warkentin, Red Deer Chamber policy co-ordinator, said Red Deer has a strong labour market, meaning not many employers offer minimum wage because they need to attract workers.

The increase in the minimum wage is “not going to have too big of an impact because so many businesses here are facing such a competitive environment for finding workers there aren’t many paying minimum wage,” said Warkentin. “It will have an impact to some businesses’ bottom line, but not a very large impact.”

Employees working at minimum wage can expect a slight increase to their wages. The Alberta minimum wage will rise by 35 cents and will no longer be the lowest in the country.

As of Sept. 1, the minimum wage will be $10.20 an hour. Alberta’s minimum wage was the last in Canada to be less than $10 an hour.

Liquor servers will also see an increase of 15 cents to $9.20 an hour as their new minimum wage.

A survey done by the Canadian Labour Congress indicates that being in a union has benefits for workers.

According to research by the CLC, the average unionized worker in Red Deer makes $6.04 an hour more than non-union workers.

CLC president Hassan Yussuff said the extra money a unionized Red Deer worker makes “translates to an extra $2.4 million every week paid into the local community.”

The survey done by the CLC looked at wages in 76 Canadian metropolitan and other census areas. Across Alberta, unionized workers earn an average of $4.75 an hour more than non-unionized workers.

The study also indicated that unionized female workers earn $7.80 an hour more than non-unionized women and people between the ages of 15 and 29 earn $5.35 more an hour if they belong to a union.

July’s employment numbers from Statistics Canada show that Red Deer’s unemployment rate is 2.8 per cent, well below the 4.4 per cent average across the province and significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of seven per cent.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Happy birthday Boler: 100s of cute campers in Winnipeg for anniversary gathering

WINNIPEG — Angela Durand sits outside her camper which is decorated to… Continue reading

Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

FRANKFURT — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will… Continue reading

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

TORONTO — The president of Tim Hortons says a plan to conquer… Continue reading

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump is suggesting Canada has deliberately been… Continue reading

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault while on the job

TORONTO — A Toronto newspaper photographer said he opted to file a… Continue reading

Annual inflation rate jumped to 3.0% in July, highest reading since 2011

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says higher gasoline prices helped push the country’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month