$15 minimum wage could cost Ontario economy up to 90,000 jobs by 2020: TD Bank report

In a new report from TD Bank, it says a $15 an hour minimum wage could cost the Ontario economy up to 90,000 jobs by 2020. Mike Groll / File / Associated Press

TORONTO – A new report from TD Bank says Ontario’s plan to hike minimum wage to $15 an hour will cost the economy 80,000 to 90,000 jobs by 2020.

The findings come in an economic analysis released today by the bank that says that despite the job losses, Ontario’s economy will continue to grow but at a slower rate of 0.5 per cent annually.

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The report says raising the minimum wage can potentially generate more benefits to society than costs but the rapid speed of implementation will increase the negative hit to employment.

The provincial Liberal government has announced it will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019 – with the increase phased in gradually and rising with inflation, as scheduled, from $11.40 currently to $11.60 in October, to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and $15 the following year.

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The new report comes two weeks after the province’s economic watchdog, the Financial Accountability Office, estimated more than 50,000 people could lose their jobs due to the minimum wage increase.

The FAO report said job losses would be concentrated among teens and young adults, while the number of minimum wage workers in Ontario would increase from just over 500,000 to 1.6 million in 2019.

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