New Brunswick’s minimum wage workers to get extra nickel an hour

New Brunswick has announced it will increase its minimum wage by $.05.
New Brunswick has announced it will increase its minimum wage by $.05. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Approximately 20,000 New Brunswick workers will get a pay increase of five cents as the province’s minimum wage increases in April.

New Brunswick’s labour minister said he is “mindful of the financial realities” of employers and employees as he announced a five-cent increase in the province’s minimum wage on Tuesday.

The province will increase its minimum wage to $11.75 per hour on April 1.

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It’s an increase of only five cents from the current wage, $11.70.

“We are mindful of the financial realities faced by both employees and employers, particularly as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

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The minimum wage rate is indexed to New Brunswick’s consumer price index and rounded to the nearest five cents.

In 2020 the price index grew by 0.22 per cent.

“Protecting the purchasing power of employees, who help keep New Brunswick businesses in operation, is one reason for tying minimum wage increases to the consumer price index,” Holder said.

“At the same time, it ensures predictability for businesses.”

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The province says there are approximately 20,000 New Brunswick workers who earn minimum wage.

That’s equivalent to six per cent of the workforce.

As of October 2020, New Brunswick had the second-lowest minimum wage in the country.

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It looks likely that it will remain near the bottom of the list with only Saskatchewan having a lower minimum wage at $11.45 an hour.

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