Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Living Wage in Alberta

An interesting article kicked up on the Edmonton Journal website today. In short, it reports StatCan data suggesting 224,000 Albertans (13.7% of the workforce) earn less than $12 a hour--the amount needed to get over the low-income cutoff for StatCan (sometimes called the poverty line, a characterization StatCan does not agree with). Over 112,000 Albertans earn less than $10 an hour.

This information comes courtesy of Public Interest Alberta, a not-for-profit group that provides advice and commentary on issues of public interest. A region breakdown of the data is available.

There is an interesting gendered aspect to this data: "The statistics reveal that 58% of people earning less than $10/ hour are women over 20 years of age (17% are older than 45) and women make up 62% of low-income earners."

This data is released as the province's Standing Committee on the Economy is holding hearings on the future of the minimum wage. PIA has made a presentation to the Committee. Of particular interest is slide 5 which shows the real-dollar value of the minimum wage over time.

My own submission to the Committee is available here.

-- Bob Barnetson

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