Small Business Owners Urge AB Government to Freeze Minimum Wage

More than half of entrepreneurs report reducing and/or eliminating plans to hire young workers

Calgary, August 15, 2018 – New findings from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) show local business owners want the Alberta government to take action to preserve jobs. Eighty-nine per cent of Alberta business owners surveyed urge the provincial government to freeze minimum wage at current levels ($13.60/hr).

In addition, local business owners report already making huge changes to their business operations as the province moves towards a $15 minimum wage by October 1, 2018:

• 55 per cent have reduced or eliminated plans to hire new/additional workers
• 52 per cent have reduced or eliminated plans to hire young workers
• 46 per cent have raised prices
• 43 per cent have reduced overall staffing hours
• 42 per cent have reduced the number of employees

On October 1, 2018, the provincial minimum wage will increase from the current hourly rate, $13.60 an hour, to $15 an hour. Between 2015 and 2018, the minimum wage will have increased a total of 47 per cent.

“Fifteen dollars per hour is a completely arbitrary number that does nothing for employees that are having their hours reduced or are losing their jobs altogether,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs, Alberta. “Hikes to entry level wages go too far, too fast and ultimately positions for young workers are disappearing. The Alberta government must be held accountable and hit the pause button until a thorough economic impact assessment is released,” added Ruddy.

Survey findings are based on 1,040 results from small and medium sized business owners in Alberta, collected February 1 to February 22, 2018. Results are statistically accurate within +/- 3.04 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is the country’s champion of small business. With over 110,000 members, we’re Canada’s largest non-profit organization devoted to creating and supporting an environment where your business can succeed.