A recent article by the Toronto Star refutes some of the warnings about Ontario's proposed increase in minimum wage, now rescinded by Premier Doug Ford. TD Bank predicted 50,000 to 150,000 jobs lost by the end of 2019 if Ontario went from the old $11.60 an hour to $14 and then $15. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce countered with an even more apocalyptic study claiming 185,00 jobs were “at risk” from raising the minimum wage last year.
What are the facts? On Jan. 4, Statistics Canada brought in the New Year with a look back at the unemployment data. Precisely how many jobs were lost over the 12 months from December 2017 to last month — when the minimum wage rose from $11.60 to $14 an hour? Ontario’s total employment went up, not down, as our economy grew by 77,500 jobs — pushing unemployment to a remarkably low 5.4 per cent last month. (Cohn, The Star, January 9, 2019).