the benefits of raising bc’s minimum wage to $15 through a
series of pre-announced staged increases far outweigh the likely
costs. claims that such an increase will lead to massive job losses
in low-wage sectors of the economy are not credible.
• an increase to $15 would result in some job losses. however,
the likely impact is less than a 1 per cent reduction in the overall
provincial employment rate, and a 7.6 per cent reduction in the
employment rate for those currently making between $10.25
and $15 per hour.
• the large job loss impacts predicted by some opponents of
minimum wages misrepresent the existing economic research. in
reading and using that research, it is important to recognize that
estimates showing job loss effects of minimum wage increases
apply only to teenagers. estimated effects for young adult and
adult workers range from insignificant to non-existent.
• focusing on teenage workers plays up an inaccurate stereotype
about who earns very low wages in bc and leads to exaggerated
claims about job losses. only 26 per cent of those currently making
between $10.25 and $12 are teenagers, and only 5 per cent
of those making between $12 and $15 are teenagers.