Manitoba’s minimum wage is to rise to $15.30 an hour on Oct. 1 to help low-income earners deal with the rising cost of living, the provincial government announced Wednesday.
The wage, normally adjusted every fall in line with inflation, is currently $13.50 an hour. It’s already set to rise to $14.15 on April 1 as part of an inflation-fighting measure the government announced last fall.
With the further rise in October, Manitoba will be in the top three provinces when it comes to minimum wage, Labour and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes said.
“To balance the financial realities of Manitoba workers and the economic challenges for small businesses, we implemented a phased-in approach that will help more Manitobans get ahead,” Reyes said in a news release.
The government had earlier indicated the wage would be raised to somewhere near $15 an hour. It revealed the exact figure Wednesday after calculating the effects of inflation in recent months.
To help small businesses deal with higher costs, the government announced a temporary subsidy last fall. It provides businesses with up to 20 workers up to 50 cents an hour for each worker earning minimum wage.
The Manitoba Federation of Labour said the increase is not enough.
“Today’s announcement means that our minimum wage will still fall $3 short of a living wage, which is the wage workers need to earn to meet their basic needs,” federation president Kevin Rebeck said.
“That means that even after the minimum wage increases to $15.30 in October, there will be people who work full-time but still live in poverty in Manitoba.”