Issue:
Effective September 1, 2012, Alberta’s hourly minimum wage will jump 35 cents from $9.40 to $9.75. This 3.5 per cent increase is less than the previous average annual increases of 5 per cent.

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

Back in November 2010, RCC urged the Government of Alberta to hold off on increasing minimum wage in the aftermath of the global recession as retailers did what they could to control their costs. We also supported a move to publish the formula used to calculate the minimum wage so that it is transparent to Albertans, and the businesses that employ them, which the government did use in announcing these changes to minimum wage.

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.

Click here  to read the Government of Alberta’s minimum wage announcement:

Click here to view a full fact sheet on the minimum wage profile for Alberta: