B.C.’s provincial government announced a planned annual increase to the general hourly minimum wage Monday, with the minimum wage rates for liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders also increasing effective June 1.
The increase follows a government commitment in 2018 to raising the minimum wage annually. In 2019, 147,600 people in B.C. were paid minimum wage, or 7 per cent of all paid employees — of that number 93 per cent worked in the service producing sector, including retail trade and accommodation and food services.
The national average for percentage of workers earning minimum wage in 2019 was 8.8 per cent, with Ontario having the highest rate at 10.9 per cent.
In 2019, 282,600 people in B.C. were paid less than $15 per hour, or 13.4 per cent of all paid employees.
General minimum wage increases 5.4 per cent on June 1 to $14.60 per hour, an increase of $0.75 per hour.
Liquor server minimum wage increases 9.8 per cent to $13.95 per hour, an increase of $1.25 per hour. The resident caretaker minimum wage, per month, increases 5.4 per cent to $876.35 for those who manage nine to 60 units (an increase of $35.12/unit), or $2,985.04 for 61 or more units.
As well, the live-in camp leader minimum wage, per day, increases 5.4 per cent to $116.86.
These increases for low-wage workers are the third of four planned increases scheduled to take place on June 1 of each year since 2018. The increases are the result of recommendations from the independent Fair Wages Commission, established in 2017 to advise government on an approach to raising provincial minimum wages.
B.C.’s government has committed to targeting a $15 per hour minimum wage, calling it a “shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus.”