Presented by Jim Stanford, Economist Jordan Brennan, Economist
The Unifor submission points out that the current minimum wage in Ontario ($10.25 per hour) has been frozen for three-and-a-half years, during which time its real purchasing power has eroded by over 7 per cent (compared to average consumer prices in the province).
The Unifor submission also endorses the concept of a “living wage,” which is a wage sufficient to allow a family of four, with two wage-earners, to pay for the basic necessities of family life. Studies have estimated the living wage in Ontario to be around $18 per hour, and so increasing the statutory minimum to $14 must be only the first step of a broader strategy required to ensure all Ontario workers can enjoy decent living standards.
The union’s submission reviews economic evidence regarding the link between minimum wages and employment levels, and concludes that a higher minimum wage would not have any negative impact on employment. In fact, by boosting purchasing power and consumer spending, and helping lower-income families reduce their debt loads, a higher minimum wage could actually have a net positive impact on jobs.
To read the full submission, click here (pdf).