March 31, 2010

Ontario raises minimum wage to $10.25

CANADA - Ontario's new minimum wage ($10.25 per hour) went into effect today and various companies are complaining about the effect on their profit margins, but employees province wide are celebrating the 8% (75 cents) increase.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association claims their profit margins will be hurt by $255 million annually, but not so says economists. Increasing the minimum wage means = more spending money = more people able to eat out = more profits for the restaurant industry.

Everyone from McDonalds employees to underpaid skilled labourers (ie. bicycle mechanics) will see the 75 cent increase as a huge boost to paying off their debts and enabling to pay their bills more easily / have more spending money to spend elsewhere.

The end result of minimum wage increases is that it boosts the economy over the long term, but big corporations that rely on minimum wage staffers usually complain because they're not able to see the big economic picture.

Ontario’s $23 billion restaurant industry employs 400,000 people and creates thousands of spin-off jobs.

If just 100,000 full-time staff receive a 75 cent increase... That is 100,000 people X 40 hours X $0.75 = $3,000,000 per week in economic benefits. Which is then multiplied because that money then gets spent on foods, goods and services and creates a more robust economy.

Restaurant and small business owners claim they might go bankrupt because of the increase in minimum wage but I've NEVER ever seen this happen. If a company falls by the wayside by such an increase then such a company was likely doomed to fail anyway because of their inability to adapt and stay competitive.

EXCEPTIONS: Bartenders (aka "Liquor Servers") are only paid $8.90 minimum wage. Students (under the age of 18 and working less than 28 hours/week between September & June) have a minimum wage of $9.60.

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