Estimating the Economic Impact of British Columbia's Minimum Wage Increase

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On March 16, 2011, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark announced her first major policy change, a $2.25 (28.1%) increase to BC?s current $8.00 per hour minimum wage. Controversy surrounds minimum wages because of the tension between well-intentioned efforts to increase incomes for lower income workers and the unfortunate reality of significant economic costs that come with increasing the minimum wage. A general misunderstanding of the types of workers who earn the minimum wage fuel that controversy. This Alert aims to provide British Columbians with an up-to-date account of these realities and an estimate of the economic costs of the recently announced increases to the province?s minimum wage.

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