The ups and downs of minimum wage

I think communities have to look at the employment opportunities they have for young families and those struggling with low income to see how it is impacting schools and children. Click here to learn more.


While the share of employees earning the minimum wage increased between 1997 and 2013 for most population groups, the groups most likely to be paid at this wage remained the same. In 2013, like in 1997, youth, less-educated individuals and part-time employees were more likely to be paid at minimum wage. The retail trade sector and the food and accommodation sector still had the largest proportion of workers paid at minimum wage.

According to the SLID, 10% of workers paid at minimum wage belonged to families whose family income was below the poverty threshold in 2011. However, Fortin and Lemieux (1997) found that regulating the minimum wage can contribute to income redistribution because minimum-wage workers are more likely than other workers to belong to low-income families. Fortin and Lemieux (2014) also illustrated that increases in the minimum wage explain much of the relatively faster increase in wages in the lower income quintile in Canada since 2005 (compared with the median quintile).



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