The Problem with a $15 Minimum Wage in Canada

Express Employment Professionals White Paper, "Great Intentions, Bad Results" Shows Many Will Lose

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 5, 2016) - Express Employment Professionals released a new white paper today, titled "Great Intentions, Bad Results," highlighting the downsides for workers and businesses of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"People deserve a raise, but this paper clearly shows the best way to provide it is through a growing economy where workers are in high demand," said Bob Funk, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Express. "Unfortunately, when the government tries to raise wages artificially, some people may win, but many more will lose."

Specifically, a minimum wage hike to $15 in Canada will:

  1. Target the young, and likely not help the poor. Sixty per cent of minimum wage earners are under the age of 24, 57 per cent live with their family, 58 per cent work part-time, and 2 per cent are unmarried supporting one child.
  2. Reduce employment. Studies show a 10 per cent increase in the minimum wage could reduce national employment for minimum-wage earners by 10 to 20 per cent.
  3. Wipe out more entry level jobs. Some business will look for cheaper labour alternatives including greater automation and increased use of technology, as well as hiring robots and iWaiters.

"Greater automation. Displaced workers. Reduced opportunity. Unemployed youth. The potential consequences do not end there," Funk said. "Small businesses with tight profit margins could be pushed over the edge if they cannot absorb the cost of higher wages through higher prices or smaller payrolls."

The Government of Alberta committed to lifting the province's minimum wage by $3.80 to $15 per hour by 2018, becoming the first province to institute a minimum wage increase above $1 during any length of time.

"As experts with real-world, day-to-day experience in the labour market, we urge advocates of a $15 minimum wage to seriously consider the consequences," Funk said. "A strong and robust economy is the best recipe for lifting wages for everyone."

A full copy of "Great Intentions, Bad Results," can be found here.

If you would like to arrange an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Kellie Major at (613) 222-7488.

About Robert A. Funk

Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals and Express in Canada

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. Express launched in Canada in July 1996, with a franchise in London, Ontario, and since then, has expanded and grown across Canada significantly. There are currently 36 Express franchises in Canada -- six in British Columbia, five in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, 23 in Ontario and one in Nova Scotia.

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
Kellie Major

Sherry Kast