Minimum wage and Alberta's agri-food workers

  From the November 5, 2018 issue of Agri-News
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 What could October’s minimum wage increase to $15 an hour mean for agri-food workers in Alberta? Jean Marie Uwizeyimana, agri-food statistician with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) examines the latest Statistics Canada numbers.

“This Statscan data indicates that 14.1 per cent, or 267,900 Albertans, were earning less than $15 an hour in 2017,” says Uwizeyimana. “Those workers stand to benefit from the last month’s minimum wage increase. Alberta has the lowest percentage of its employees earning less than $15 an hour, followed by Saskatchewan at 18.6 per cent.”

Alberta’s agri-food industry employed 75,100 people in 2017. “That number is comprised of 52,100 in primary agriculture and 23,000 in food and beverage manufacturing,” explains Uwizeyimana. “Out of this total, 37,600 people were self-employed, while the remainder were employees earning wages. This increase is likely to benefit workers on wages.”

Uwizeyimana notes that in 2017, 14.4 per cent of employees - 5,400 people - in Alberta’s agri-food industry earned less than $15 an hour. “Specifically, that proportion was 22.8 per cent - 3,600 people - in the primary agriculture industry and 8.3 per cent - 1,800 people - in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.”

Percentage of Albertans Who Earned Less than $15 an Hour by Industry in 2017

“With 53.6 per cent - 73,700 people - Alberta’s accommodation and food services industry employed the highest percentage of employees earning less than $15 an hour in 2017,” explains Uwizeyimana. “That is followed by wholesale and retail trade - 30.3 per cent or 94,100 people - and information, culture and recreation - 23.5 per cent or 14,900 people. The province’s primary agriculture industry had the fourth highest percentage share of workers earning less than $15 an hour, while the food and beverage manufacturing industry ranked ninth.”

For more information, contact Jean Marie Uwizeyimana at 780-422-3099.

Jean Marie Uwizeyimana

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jean Marie Uwizeyimana.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on October 30, 2018.