“Many Alberta small businesses, service and community organizations will have to cut their hours of operation or pass on their higher costs of doing business to their clients,” said McIver. “We have continued to press the government for answers about how a $15 an hour minimum wage is going to improve our economy. It seems to be a number pulled out of the air with no basis in fact.”
Studies indicate every ten percent increase in the minimum wage would result in nearly 11,000 direct jobs lost, plus thousands of indirect jobs.
“The magnitude of this wage increase over such a short period of time is what has us most concerned,” said McIver. “This will make it harder for people with the least amount of experience to get a job. We’ve continued to tell the government this increase will hurt the very people it’s intended to help. We find it revealing that the government is so tied to ideology that every time someone presents a differing economic opinion – specifically concern about the potential for high job losses – this government rejects that opinion as ‘fear-mongering.’”
McIver also criticized the government for the limited amount of consultation it provided to employers as well as the amount of input they were able to provide before the wage increase was announced.