Increase to minimum wage a point of debate

A report recently released by the Fraser Institute states that because Premier Christy Clark has increased British Columbia’s minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by May of 2012, more than 52,000 jobs will be lost in the Province.

A report recently released by the Fraser Institute states that because Premier Christy Clark has increased British Columbia’s minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by May of 2012, more than 52,000 jobs will be lost in the Province.

North Coast MLA Gary Coons says he disagrees with the reports findings.

In the Fraser Institutes “Fraser Alert” report it states that last year close to 60 per cent of people making minimum wage in the Province were between the ages of 15 and 24, with about 86 percent of those workers still living at home with their family. In the report, it also states that studies made over the last three decades have examined the impact of minimum wage increases on employment and that the findings were that a 10 percent wage increase would decrease employment among young workers by 3 and 6 percent.

Based on the Canadian research, the authors calculate that an increase in B.C.’s minimum wage to $10.25 per hour from $8 per hour will result in job losses ranging from 9,391 jobs to 52,194 jobs.

“While increasing the minimum wage may be done with good intentions, the facts show that it has very negative consequences,” started Niels Veldhuis, the Fraser Institute’s senior economist and the co-author of Estimating the Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Minimum Wage Increase.

“When governments impose high labour costs on businesses, employers react by hiring fewer workers and reducing the number of hours employees work.”

Many people, NDP MLA Gary Coons disagree.

It has been shown that a minimum wage increase would improve the well being of low aged workers and wouldn’t have an adverse affect on jobs. Back in 2006 there were statements made by 650 American Economists that said that.” Commented Coons.

“When we look at our minimum wage it hasn’t increased in nine years under the BC Liberals. It’s the lowest minimum wage in the country. Before 2001 we had the highest minimum wage

Jim Sinclair, the president of the B.C. Federation of Labour also

disagrees.

“They’re not going to cut jobs as a result of going from $8 an hour to $10.25 over a year. Good wages actually help them…Last time I looked, people with money in their pockets spend that money in small businesses.”

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