Alberta's minimum wage to go up 2.1 per cent in September

No change to liquor server wage
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/03/2013

Alberta’s general minimum wage is going up in the fall. It will increase by 2.1 per cent on Sept. 1, representing an increase from $9.75 per hour to $9.95 per hour. There will be no change to the liquor server minimum wage, which will remain at $9.05 per hour.

“We know that only 1.8 per cent of employees in Alberta earn minimum wage and that this wage is an entry point into the job market,” said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock. “After taxes, Alberta’s minimum wage is the second highest amongst Canadian provinces and provides a good starting point for entering the workforce. From this starting point, we want to see these workers obtain the skills and experiences to advance their careers.”

The 20-cent increase is based on a formula initiated by government in 2011. The formula links possible increases to an average of the annual increases in Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Alberta.

In the past year, AWE rose 3.1 per cent in Alberta, while the CPI rose 1.1 per cent. The average of 2.1 per cent translates into a suggested increase of just over 20 cents per hour, said the government.

The liquor server minimum wage rate is unaffected by the new formula and will remain at $9.05 per hour until such time as the general minimum wage reaches $10.05 per hour. From then on, the two rates will increase in tandem while retaining a $1-per-hour differential.

Minimum wage for real estate, automotive, manufactured home and similar commission salespeople who are paid weekly will rise to $397. The minimum wage for live-in employees who are paid monthly, such as nannies, will rise to $1,893. After personal exemptions and taxes are considered, Alberta’s new general minimum wage of $9.95 per hour will rank second among Canadian provinces, said the government.

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