Between May 1, 2011, and May 1, 2012, the Bolsheviks in British Columbia increased the minimum wage $2.25 per hour from $8.00 to $10.25, a 27% increase. Unsurprisingly the Frasier and other right wing think tanks predicted calamity. They said there would be up to a 20% increase in youth unemployment, and business would have to lay off people. Well it’s 2015, and the results are in, BC’s unemployment rate went from 7.5% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012, and it was 6.1 in 2014. Youth unemployment did increase 1.6%. If BC can increase it’s minimum 27% over a one-year period and experience few of the calamities, economists predicted where does that leave Alberta?
An increase in minimum wage to $15, over three years is the right thing to do. If we can learn anything, it’s that perhaps the predictive nature of economics is not all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps Mr. Klein can explain BC because he neglected to mention it in his column. Businesses will adjust with price increases just as they do when the price of other commodities increases, the price of coffee has increased significantly over the last few years and yet business adjusts by increasing prices.