Ontario Needs a Raise: Who Benefits from a $15 Minimum Wage?

Submitted by Tamarack on August 24, 2017 - 2:02am
A paper examining who will benefit from Ontario's upcoming minimum wage increase

Ontario has committed to raise its minimum wage to $14 on January 1, 2018 then to $15 on January 1, 2019. It will be the second province to reach the $15 an hour threshold; Alberta’s will arrive three months earlier on October 1, 2018.

With each increase in the provincial minimum wage, business groups regularly predict dire impacts, which fail to materialize. Recent empirical analysis  nds that potential job losses as a result of minimum wage increases remain very small and occur mostly for teenagers, who make up an increasingly small proportion of low-wage earners. The actual experience of minimum wage increases generally results in lower employee turnover, as it reduces the incentive for firms to operate a low-wage, high-turnover model. Because it increases wages for low-wage workers, a higher minimum wage can be an important tool in combating income inequality.

This paper does not focus on the employment rate impact of a higher minimum wage in Ontario. Rather, it seeks to identify who would benefit most from such a change. Who would get a raise?

 

Read the Paper

Authored by: David MacDonald
Published by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office, July 2017

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