BC to Raise Minimum Wage, Tie Future Wage Boosts to Consumer Price Index

The BC government is indexing increases in the general minimum hourly wage to the province’s Consumer Price Index.

Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond made the announcement this week. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the BC CPI increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.

Effective September 15, the general minimum hourly wage will increase from $10.25 to $10.45. BC’s average hourly wage is fourth-highest in the country at $24.91 and has been increasing for the last 10 years.

Currently in BC, people earning minimum wage represent 110,400 employees, or 5.9% of the paid workforce, below the national average of 7.2%.

“Raising the minimum wage allows BC to keep pace with minimum wages in the rest of Canada while maintaining our competitiveness,” stated Bond. “Increasing the minimum wage is one of many tools, including tax policy, social supports, education and training that help British Columbians.”

At 5.6%, BC’s unemployment rate is third lowest in the country. The youth unemployment rate is 10.6% and is also third-lowest in the country. The average hourly youth wage is $14.86.

52% of minimum wage earners lived with their parents. Of the minimum wage earners living with their parents, 47% attend school.