Minimum wage will be going up in Manitoba in a few weeks.
On Oct. 1, the province said, the minimum wage will increase by 25 cents, going to $11.90 an hour from $11.65.
A similar increase, up 30 cents to $11.65 from $11.35, took place on Oct. 1, 2019.
Read more: Manitoba’s minimum wage to increase Oct. 1
The province said the adjustment is based on Manitoba’s 2019 inflation rate of 2.2 per cent.
Despite the increase, Manitoba’s minimum wage is one of the lowest in Canada, with Alberta ($15), British Columbia ($14.50), Ontario ($14), Nunavut ($16) and Yukon ($13.71) at the top of the country’s pay scale, according to numbers from the Retail Council of Canada.
Manitobans make a higher minimum wage than only Saskatchewan residents (going up to $11.45 Oct. 1) and workers in New Brunswick ($11.70).
The authors of a report released in August by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said Manitoba’s minimum wage isn’t enough for many workers to make ends meet, and that a $15 an hour minimum would be enough to lift all of the households in the study above the national poverty line, given full-time working hours.
“This report clearly shows that workers earning minimum wage are just not earning enough to make ends meet, even with full-time hours,” said Jesse Hajer, one of the study’s authors, in a news release.
“Other provinces have taken action to increase their minimum wages to levels that allow workers to meet their basic needs. Manitoba has fallen behind the rest of Canada, and that means thousands of minimum-wage earners and those who make just above it are falling behind too.”
In a release Friday, the province cited last year’s reduction of the PST rate to seven per cent from eight per cent, as well as the elimination of sales taxes on property insurance premiums, as other measures that will benefit Manitoba families and businesses.