Did you know that with inflation adjustments, the current (2014) minimum wage in Canada is actually lower than it was in the late 1970’s?
In 2014, the minimum wage had an average value of $10.39 per hour, compared with just over $11 in 1976, according to a report from Statistics Canada. Wages overall have followed the same pattern. The overall average was around $23/hour in 2014, compared with close to $24/hour in 1977.
I was blown away by this observation and it has left me with more than a few questions.
??? I wonder if we somehow missed this because two-income households became the norm in the same time period? Could the sad fact that women are paid less be responsible for bringing down these numbers, as more females entered the workplace?
??? As time goes on, employees are far more educated and employers are asking for a considerably higher level of qualifications. Should they not be prepared to pay for that? Can they really claim their business will go under if the minimum wage goes up, when in fact the higher wages will increase purchasing power and their bottom line? Is that view too simplistic?
??? How can we expect to have a thriving economy if it’s based on incomes so low that the average person can’t buy anything? Especially when markets like housing are already out of reach for families in some markets (such as British Columbia and Ontario)?
??? Can governments at all levels come together to support small businesses in a multitude of ways, so they’re more competitive and profitable? Small-Medium businesses are, after all, providing 98%+ of all Canadian jobs. Nobody supports them more than I, but wages need to come up if Canada is to have a healthy economy. Small businesses need help to compete with the borderless marketplace the Internet has created, for starters.
??? What’s wrong with this picture and how do we fix it? Let’s come up with something feasible that we can take to Canadian politicians.
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