03/25/2016 04:40 EDT | Updated 03/25/2016 04:59 EDT

B.C. Minimum Wage Raise Could Be Higher Than Expected: Minister

The current minimum wage is $10.45 per hour.

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Close Up of a Canadian Twenty Dollar Bill, Yaletown, Vancouver, British Columbia

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is considering raising the minimum wage beyond its scheduled top up as the provincial economy prospers.

In a news release, Jobs Minister Shirley Bond says stronger economic growth creates some room for a modest increase in the minimum wage beyond the consumer price index, which the wage is already tied to.

Bond says she has started discussions aimed at striking a balance that supports workers while recognizing the impacts on businesses.

The minister says she expects to announce a minimum wage increase this spring, with the new rate coming into effect in September.

Provincial government statistics show just five per cent of wage earners in B.C. earn the minimum wage, compared with the national average of 7.1 per cent.

The current minimum wage is $10.45 per hour, the second lowest in the country behind $10.30 in New Brunswick.

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