Minimum wage to increase in September

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By Morinville News Staff

Edmonton – Approximately 26,000 Albertans will see their paycheques increase this fall after the province raises the general minimum wage Sept. 1. At that time, the minimum wage will rise from $9.40 to $9.75 per hour, an increase of approximately 3.5 per cent. There will be no change to the liquor server minimum wage, which will remain at $9.05 per hour.

“Minimum wage earners are an important part of our workforce and are employed in many different settings,” said Human Services Minister Dave Hancock in a release Thursday. “These positions are often entry level and require little or no experience which is reflected in the pay level. This increase will help employees with rising costs while keeping the viability of employers in mind as well.”

The general minimum wage increase is based on a new formula approved in 2011 that links possible increases to an average of the annual increases in Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Alberta. The AWE rose 4.56 per cent in Alberta in the past year, while the CPI rose 2.44 per cent. The 3.5 per cent average equates to a suggested increase of 33 cents per hour. The increase has been rounded up to 35 cents per hour for simpler calculations.

Unaffected by the new formula is the liquor server minimum wage. That wage 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.

Employers and employees with questions about minimum wage can contact the Employment Standards Contact Centre at 780-427-3731, or toll-free at 1-877-427-3731, or visit employment.alberta.ca/es for more information.

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