Blog | September 03, 2013

By Robin Prebble, HQ LloyminsterEven with an increase, Alberta's minimum wage is still the lowest in the country.A new hourly rate of $9.95 took effect on Sept. 1, which is a 20 per cent hike. The adjustment is based on a formula established two years ago which links the rate to annual increases in average weekly earnings and the consumer price index.Public Interest Alberta has released statistics which show one in five working Albertans are paid less than $15 per hour with six in ten of those workers in their prime earning years over the age of 25.The advocacy group says people earning below $15 an hour are constantly struggling to manage in a province with a relatively high cost of living. The organization claims the statistics indicate a growing gap between rich and poor, a trend which does not coincide with Premier Alison Redford’s promise to develop a poverty reduction strategy and eliminate child poverty by 2017.“Given that over half of the 91,000 children in poverty in Alberta have at least one parent working full-time, full-year, it is unconscionable that Alberta still has the lowest minimum wage in the country, ” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta.The statistics were purchased from Statistics Canada by Public Interest Alberta with the support of the Alberta College of Social Workers.Read the article at HQ Lloyminster.