Minimum wage job loss figures misleading, says Unifor

22 per cent of Ontario workers will benefit from pay hike: Economist
||Last Updated: 09/18/2017
Jerry Dias
Unifor President Jerry Dias speaks during the union's 2016 convention in Ottawa. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

Reports that the proposed $15 minimum wage will result in the loss of 50,000 jobs in Ontario are misleading, according to Unifor — Canada’s largest private-sector union. 

"The reality is that 50,000 workers are not expected to lose their jobs," said national president Jerry Dias. "This figure is not a projection of actual lost jobs but rather a combination of estimates that includes potential, but not actual, future job creation and jobs lost to increased automation."  

Figures from a report released by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) show that the benefits of a $15 minimum wage far outweigh the projected negative impact, according to the union.

While 0.7 per cent of Ontario's labour market may be negatively affected, 22 per cent stand to directly benefit and many more will benefit indirectly, said Unifor economist Jordan Brennan.

The FAO report indicated that increasing the minimum wage is not an effective tool to combat poverty. However, it did not consider that many of those living in poverty are unemployed and that working poor and low-income families will benefit most from a $15 minimum wage, he said.

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