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Increased minimum wage would increase equality, but still not enough

Last Updated Sep 2, 2016 at 10:22 am MST

One in five Albertans earn below 15 dollars an hour — that’s according to new data released by Public Interest Alberta.

Data also found that the majority of low wage earners are women.

Executive Director, Joel French, says while a higher minimum wage is welcome, it’s still not close to a living wage.

“The living wage in Calgary right now is above $18 per hour, in Edmonton its between $17 and $18 and it’s different in other parts of the province.”

French does believe raising the minimum wage would help close the gender gap.

“So increasing the minimum wage is actually a policy that will help reduce gender inequality in the province. Just over 60 per cent of the low wage earners in the province are women.”

He says when it comes to businesses paying their employees more, the benefits outweigh the initial cost, because that money will eventually be spent within the local community.