By Sara Parkin, The MelioristSitting at $9.40, Alberta’s minimum wage is currently among the lowest in Canada. On Nov. 1, British Columbia raised its minimum wage to $9.50, an increase of 75 cents, nudging Alberta into a lower position in terms of national numbers. The minimum wage for liquor servers in the province is even lower, set at $9.05.Statistics provided by the government of Alberta from April 2010 to March 2011 revealed that people from age 15 to 29 make up close to 60 per cent of minimum wage earners in the province; included in this age group is a great deal of post-secondary students. According to statistics, the number of people between the ages of 20 to 24 who are earning minimum wage has been on the rise in recent years. 44.2 per cent of minimum wage earners either have some post-secondary education or have already earned a degree, diploma or certificate. People with university degrees make up 13.9 per cent of people earning minimum wage. With the cost of living also on the rise, as well as the cost of education, post-secondary students are among those people who are most negatively affected by a low minimum wage; however, a wide range of people earn minimum wage in Alberta. People of all ages, levels of education, marital status, and gender are included in the broad spectrum of minimum wage earners in this province.While both genders are affected by the minimum wage in Alberta, the statistics reveal that they are not affected equally. From April 2010 to March 2011, women comprised 64.6 per cent of the province’s minimum wage earners. This number was up from 58.2 per cent from April 2009 to March 2010.Included in the Alberta Minimum Wage Profile is a summary profile of a minimum wage earner. According to the government of Alberta, the most common minimum wage earner from April 2010 to March 2011 was as follows.
- 15 to 19 years old
- employed full-time in a permanent position
- non-union employee
- one to five years job experience
- in accommodation or food services industry or in sales and services occupations
- some high school education
$9.05 for liquor serversBritish Columbia
$12.60 for people working in constructionNew Brunswick
$9.50Newfoundland and Labrador
$9.50 for inexperienced workersNunavut
$9.60 for students under 18
$8.90 for liquor servers
$11.28 for homeworkersPrince Edward Island
$8.35 for workers who receive gratuitiesSaskatchewan
$9.00By Sara Parkin, The Meliorist This article was published in the Meliorist on November 14, 2011. Read the full article on the Meliorist website.