You are here

Minimum wage job loss figures misleading

September 13, 2017

Toronto – Reports that the proposed $15 minimum wage will result in the loss of 50,000 jobs in Ontario are misleading says Unifor.  

“The reality is that 50,000 workers are not expected to lose their jobs,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “This figure is not a projection of actual lost jobs but rather a combination of estimates that includes potential, but not actual, future job creation and jobs lost to increased automation.”   

Unifor determined that figures from a report released by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) show that the benefits of a $15 minimum wage far outweigh the projected negative impact. The union’s Economist Jordan Brennan emphasizes that, while 0.7 per cent of Ontario’s labour market may be negatively affected, 22 per cent stand to directly benefit and many more will benefit indirectly.

The FAO report indicated that increasing the minimum wage is not an effective tool to combat poverty, however it did not consider that many of those living in poverty are unemployed and that working poor and low-income families will benefit most from a $15 minimum wage.

“There is no magical solution to the problem of working poverty but this single measure will improve the lives of millions of working Ontarians and their families,”said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. “More money in the hands of workers will drastically improve their lives as it will reduce financial stress, improve health outcomes, and help close the gender pay gap.”

For more information on Brennan’s finding visit unifor.org/blog.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).