Minimum wage increase can also bring lost jobs

Javon Walker and Braden Liezert
News Reporters

Ontario is one of five provinces across Canada to increase its minimum wage on Thursday, a move supported by many Humber students.

Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador both saw their minimum wage increased by 25 cents.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba saw a 30-cent jump.

However, Alberta saw the biggest rise with a one-dollar increase.

Humber Business Administration student Alan Abubara supported the increase, but said the wage hike should be higher.

“Minimum wage is an unfair amount of wage for the type of work some of these people do,” Abubara said.

But, not everyone is on board with minimum wage increases.

Wes McGill, a graduate of Humber’s Media Foundations program and former minimum wage worker, doesn’t fully agree with the change because “the cost of everything else is going to go up as well.”

University of Toronto economics professor Dwayne Benjamin dis- agreed with the notion prices will rise overall.

“I don’t think anyone has imaged that the effect would be very big [on the cost of living] because minimum wage workers are about three per cent of the labour force,” Benjamin said. “Raising minimum wage by 25 cents at the current level would be barely noticeable.

“The main concern about minimum wage is that it kills jobs and reduces employment for low-skilled, minimum-wage workers,” Benjamin added.

He warned that a reduction in employment will be gradual, just like with self-serving gas stations and restaurants, including new self- serve McDonald’s kiosks.

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