B.C. indexes minimum wage to provincial CPI

The B.C. government is indexing increases in the general minimum hourly wage and liquor server wage to B.C.’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond announced today.

The government is committed to reasonable and predictable yearly minimum wage increases linked to B.C. CPI. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the B.C. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.

In addition, this indexing formula is being applied to the period since the last minimum wage increase in 2012. Effective Sept. 15, 2015, the general minimum hourly wage will increase from $10.25 to $10.45 and the liquor server wage from $9.00 to $9.20 per hour.

The daily rate for live-in home support workers and live-in camp leaders, as well as the monthly rates for resident caretakers and the farm worker piece rates (for harvesters of certain fruits and vegetables) are increased proportionate to the 20-cent increase in the general minimum hourly wage. All of the new rates will take effect on Sept. 15, 2015.

Government will announce the yearly increase to the minimum wage in March to take effect Sept. 15 each year, giving businesses the necessary lead time to implement the new minimum wage without undue hardship.

Currently in B.C., people earning minimum wage represent 110,400 employees, or 5.9% of the paid workforce, below the national average of 7.2%. Of those B.C. employees earning minimum wage during 2014:

  • 100,800 (91%) worked in the service producing sector.
  • 62,500 (57%) were part time workers.
  • 7,800 (7%) were defined as being the head of the family.
  • 57,800 (52%) lived with their parents.
  • Of the minimum wage earners living with their parents, 47% were attending school.


Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –

“Raising the minimum wage allows B.C. to keep pace with minimum wages in the rest of Canada while maintaining our competitiveness. We remain focused on our plan to grow B.C.’s diverse economy to encourage investment that leads to high-paying, family supporting jobs.”

“We continue to work hard to remove barriers and open up new opportunities to move people up the income ladder. Increasing the minimum wage is one of many tools, including tax policy, social supports, education and training that help British Columbians. This week we announced a new Single Parent Employment Initiative with significant changes to the income and disability assistance program that will help single parents transition into the workforce by allowing them to stay on assistance for up to 12 months while they train for their new job. We’ve also raised the earning exemption for families on income assistance, allowing a person to earn more money from a job without jeopardizing their full provincial support payments.”

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business –

“Small businesses told us they want the minimum wage increase to be reasonable and predictable, which is why we implemented a formula-based approach tied to economic indicators.”

Audio of Yamamoto’s quote: http://ow.ly/KdRxj

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s average hourly wage is fourth-highest in the country at $24.91 and has been increasing for the last 10 years.
  • At 5.6%, B.C.’s unemployment rate is third lowest in the country.
  • The youth unemployment rate is 10.6% and is also third-lowest in the country.
  • The average hourly youth wage is $14.86.
  • 5.9% of B.C.’s paid workforce earn minimum wage, below the national average of 7.2%.
  • The 5.9% of people earning minimum wage represents 110,400 BC employees.
  • 57 % of minimum wage earners were part time workers.
  • Only 7% of minimum wage earners were defined as being the head of the family.
  • 52% of minimum wage earners lived with their parents. Of the minimum wage earners living with their parents, 47% were attending school.