Q: What is the current minimum wage in Saskatchewan?
A: As of October 1, 2017, the minimum wage was set to $10.96. As of April 1, 2018, Saskatchewan now has the lowest minimum wage in all of Canada.
Q: How much would a full-time worker have to earn to stay out of poverty in Saskatchewan?
A: According to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a ‘living wage’ for someone living in Saskatoon or Regina – the income necessary for a basic level of economic security and opportunity – is over $16/hour. These figures include only life necessities – rent, groceries, bills, child care, transportation, and education. They do not account for retirement saving, loan payments, disability plans, or home ownership. These are indeed bare bones budgets.
Based on these calculations, it is clear that the current minimum wage of $10.96 is not enough. The results of those struggling to make ends meet can be seen in the growing number of working people who are forced to use food banks – since 2008, food bank use has grown 77% in Saskatchewan, and a growing amount are those who are working poor.
Q: How will a higher minimum wage affect our economy?
A: An increase to $15/hour is a good thing for businesses and the broader economy. Higher wages have been proven to reduce turnover and increase productivity – this reduces costs and can increase profits for businesses. Meanwhile, higher wages mean workers have increased purchasing power. What is more, studies have shown that low-wage workers are more likely to spend their money locally than wealthy people.
Organizations like the International Monetary Fund have concluded that increased minimum wages are more likely to boost economic growth than reduce it. A case in point would be the most recent increase in the minimum wage in Seattle.
Interestingly enough, 51% of our low wage workers work for large businesses with 100+ employees.
Q: How many people in Saskatchewan work for the minimum wage and how many work for $15/hour or less?
A: Using Statistics Canada data, roughly 3% of workers in Saskatchewan earn the minimum wage – that equates to roughly 16,200 workers. Women make up 65% of this population.
And 20% of Saskatchewan workers earn less than $15/hour, totalling roughly 96,000 people.
For a population of 463, 700 employees, that equates to over 1 in 5 workers who earn less than $15/hour in Saskatchewan.
Q: How many of Saskatchewan’s low-wage earners are women, and how many are men?
A: There are 58,900 female workers earning less than $15/hour, which works out to 61% of the total population earning $15/hour or less. Men account for 37,700 of those who earn $15 or less in Saskatchewan.
Q: How many of Saskatchewan’s low-wage workers 19 and under, and how many are 20 and over?
A. One of the most overused and unfounded myths around low-wage earners is that they’re teenagers living at home. Firstly, this is offensive to all young workers – exploiting workers based on their age is pure discrimination. Secondly, the rationale is just not true.
The reality is that 76% (73,800) making less than $15 are adults. Only 24% (23,700) of those making less than $15 are aged 15-19. In Saskatchewan, 32% of workers that make less than $15 are 35 or older, and 33% of low income earners are post-secondary graduates. Low wages are especially hitting recent immigrants, with 37% making less than $15 – so you can put that old ageist myth to bed!
List of Website Resources
- Labour Force Survey, 2015.
- Labour Force Survey, 2014.
- The Minimum Wage in Canada
- Living Wage Regina
- Living Wage Saskatoon
- Who Earns the Minimum Wage?
- Poverty Reduction Strategy – Poverty Free Saskatchewan
- Six Things About Child Poverty in Saskatchewan
- Facts About the Gender Wage Gap in Canada
- Campaign 2000
- Poverty Free Saskatchewan: 2016 Budget
- Hunger Count 2015
- Poverty Costs
- Saskatchewan Employment Act
- Just 62 People Now Own The Same Wealth As Half The World’s Population
- Canada’s 86 Wealthiest Have As Much Wealth As The 114 Million Poorest
- Dispelling Minimum Wage Mythology
- 15 Wage Has Little Impact On Seattle’s Thriving Labour Market
- So Far The Seattle Minimum Wage Increase Is Doing What Its Supposed To Do
- Report: Big Corporations Are Making Huge Profits While Keeping Their Employees Stuck At Minimum Wage
- What Costco’s New Wages Say About the Health of the American Economy
- Minimum Wage Mythbusters
- California’s $15 Minimum Wage: What We Know and Don’t Know
- 15 is Fair
- Henry Ford Understood That Raising Wages Would Bring Him More Profit
- Making Ends Meet
- The “Ripple Effect” of a Minimum Wage Increase on American Workers
- McDonald’s CEO says $15 hourly wage, robots won’t kill jobs
- The Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage in Saskatchewan