CFIB Challenges AB Govt to Release Economic Impact Analysis of $15 Minimum Wage Hike


Files Freedom of Information request for all AB government studies and analysis

CALGARY – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today challenged the Alberta government to release all economic impact studies and analysis it has conducted or commissioned on the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“The Jobs Minister’s claim that a massive hike in the minimum wage will help ease unemployment is complete rubbish,” stated Richard Truscott, Vice President for Alberta and BC for CFIB.  “The vast majority of research shows there would be a significant employment impact from raising the minimum wage that far, that fast, particularly for young and inexperienced workers looking for entry-level opportunities.”

According to CFIB’s own analysis, a 47 per cent increase in the minimum wage in Alberta would result in 50,290 to 183,300 jobs lost.  These are jobs that are either direct cuts, or are positions that will never be created as a result of a massive increase in payroll costs for employers.

The CFIB analysis is similar to the findings in a long list of academic studies.  A landmark study (Gunderson) revealed a 10 per cent increase in the minimum wage would result in a 3 to 6 per cent decrease in youth employment.  To extrapolate, moving Alberta’s floor on wages to $15 per hour, a 47 per cent increase, would produce a 14 to 28 per cent decrease in youth employment.

“What does the governments own analysis say?  With the Alberta economy already teetering on the verge of recession, and the fact this is such a huge policy change, surely they have looked at what the impact will be on the economy and on jobs”, stated Truscott.

The CFIB has also filed a Freedom of Information request today to the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Labour and Training asking for all studies and report commissioned or conducted in the past three years regarding the economic impact of a significant increase in the minimum wage.

“The Alberta Government should not move forward with any increase in the minimum wage, beyond what was already planned for September, until it has conducted a thorough analysis of the impact on the economy and employment.  If it has already completed the research, then the details should be made public,” demanded Truscott.

As Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™.  Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.