The Saskatchewan Government has announced their plan to increase minimum wage to $13 per hour as of October 2022 with a long-term goal of $15 per hour by 2024.
Saskatchewan currently has the lowest minimum wage in the country, sitting at $11.81 per hour.
In a scrum on Tuesday addressing the changes, Minister Don Morgan said that economic factors played a role in the decision to increase minimum wage.
“We’d had a formula in place since 2014, 2015,” he said. “I was instrumental in making the formula, where it was midway between the average hourly wage and consumer price index. And we’re watching, and as other provinces were increasing, we realized that we were falling to the to the back. And now, in recent times we've had a very serious round of inflation and we thought it was time to make a market adjustment.”
The wage increase will take effect on October 1, 2022, followed by a second increase to $ 14 per hour on October 1, 2023, and finally, on October 1, 2024, minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour.
This will represent a 27 per cent increase to the minimum wage by 2024.
The recent increases reflect a market adjustment as opposed to using the province’s traditional indexation formula which gives equal weight to changes to the Consumer Price Index and Average Hourly Wage for Saskatchewan.
Minister Morgan added that the hike in wages will impact a larger portion of the province than usual.
“We think that there's roughly 45,000 people that will be affected by this over a period of time,” he said. “Usually, when you do adjustments in minimum wage you say it's going to have an impact on about 10% of the people. This time because it's a large one, it's going to be a much bigger one.”
Saskatchewan will have the second lowest minimum wage after the increase takes effect. New Brunswick’s minimum wage will increase to $13.75 per hour in October, and Manitoba will reach $12.75 per hour.
In 2007 the minimum wage in the province was $7.95, and by 2024 there will have been a total increase to the rate of nearly 89 per cent.