ALBERTA

Alberta Minimum Wage Up 20 Cents, But Still The Lowest In Canada

05/30/2013 05:27 EDT | Updated 07/30/2013 05:12 EDT
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EDMONTON - Alberta's minimum wage is increasing by two dimes at the end of August and will remain the lowest in the country.

Effective Sept. 1, the 29,300 workers on the lowest end of the pay scale will earn $9.95 an hour.

The liquor server wage will remain unchanged at $9.05 an hour.

Government figures show Nunavut's minimum wage is the highest in Canada at $11 an hour.

Minimum wage workers in Ontario and British Columbia make $10.25 an hour, while minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $10.

The Alberta government says its overall wage may be the lowest, but it is the second highest — behind only B.C. — after personal exemptions and taxes are factored in.

"We know that only 1.8 per cent of employees in Alberta earn minimum wage," Human Services Minister Dave Hancock said in a statement.

"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 size of the increase is determined by a formula that considers average weekly earnings in the province and the consumer price index.

The government says the weekly minimum wage for real estate agents, car salespeople and similar workers who are on commission will rise to $397. The monthly minimum wage for live-in employees, such as nannies, will rise to $1,893.

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