Minimum wage increases to $10.70 per hour in Manitoba today, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that’s hurting small businesses and youth looking to obtain a job.
It’s the 11th hike in 10 years the provincial government has made, making it the fourth highest wage rate in Canada behind Ontario, Nunavut and Yukon.
“The massive increase of the minimum wage over the last 10 years makes it increasingly difficult for Manitoba entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and create jobs,” said Elliot Sims, CFIB’s Manitoba director of provincial affairs. “Mitigating factors, such as a training wage, are needed to ensure youth don’t pay the price for the provincial government’s policy to increase the wage rate far faster than inflation”
The CFIB says 45 percent of workers are employed at businesses with less than 100 employees. Entrepreneurs, especially those in the retail and hospitality sectors, will be hardest hit by the increase, the federation says.
Statistics Canada data shows 60 percent of minimum wage earners are young people aged 15-24, a majority of whom are earning an education while working part-time.
“The provincial government continues to increase the cost of hiring entry level workers, many of whom are youth, without realizing businesses have a finite amount of resources to pay them,” added Sims. “When the cost per worker goes up, the only way to mitigate that is through less staff. That means fewer entry level jobs and, unfortunately, less income and higher student debts for the youth that usually fill those positions.”