September 1st, 2016 CHAT News Medicine Hat
Public Interest Alberta says they support the provincial NDP continuing to push the goal of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2018. The group says it will help decrease wage gaps in the province and help more people reach a living wage. Data from Statistics Canada shows there are a large number of minimum wage earners in Alberta. 77% of people who earn less than $15/hour are over the age of 20, and 60% of low wage earners are women. The numbers from June of 2016, show 18% of employed Albertans earn $15/hour or less. In Medicine Hat that number is closer to 22% with over 7,000 residents in that wage group. Public Interest Alberta says the numbers are very concerning.
But Councillor Jim Turner said it’s a reflection of the current job opportunities in the region.
“It doesn’t surprise me. When you look at the amount of high wage jobs we’ve lost over the last couple years. And then when you look at the jobs that have been created a lot of them have been in the service industry, restaurants and retail stores, and those are traditionally lower paid jobs for sure.” said Turner. Turner says the provincial government needs to ensure the economic climate is good for business so new companies invest and current businesses can create more high paying jobs in the province.
Full Article: http://chattelevision.ca/__news/low-wage-reality/