According to the BC Small Business Quarterly,
the effects of changes to the minimum wage tend to be exaggerated by both detractors and supporters. There are many factors that must be considered in determining the effect of a minimum wage increase, including the size of the wage bump, the business cycle, the kind of tax and benefit systems in place, and the labour supply, just to name some.According to an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) report based on a 1998 study of minimum wage changes in nine countries,
a 10% increase in the minimum wage is associated with a 1.5 to 3% decline in teenage employment The evidence alsoCertainly not all business is against the idea of raising minimum wage. From a U.S. site called Responsible Wealth, business leaders support a higher minimum wage. Here's one quote:
shows that hikes in the minimum, on their own, can explain only a small fraction of the large falls in teenage employment rates observed over the past two decades in almost all countries. The cross-country evidence suggests that the minimum wage has no significant impact on overall employment... So it may be misleading to suggest that a raise in a minimum wage will necessarily lead to widespread job loss.
"The economy has been growing at a rapid rate, but the buying power of the minimum wage has contintued to decrease. It's time for businesses to step up to the plate and take some responsiblity. How can I expect an employee to have any dedication to this company if I do not treat all employees with respect by paying them a living wage?"
-Michele McGeoy, RH Solutions
In any case businesses in general may benefit because people could have more spending power, not to mention happier employees. It would be a boost for peoples' self esteem, motivation, and possibly their desire to perform good or better. Compliments on the job are wonderful incentive for work dedication, but a raise is a great positive incentive also.
There is a 25 ¢ raise coming in the new year, but that will make it only $ 7.00 / hour. That amounts to $14,560 a year. It's a pretty low amount to live on. That's more, perhaps in many cases, than the amount seniors 65 and over get from the Old Age Security (OAS) program each year. While seniors get a consumer price index increase four times a year, to help meet the cost of living increases, it is still a very low amount. Considering that their work lives have concluded and that means no chance of raises in their income, it seems fair to give them an actual raise, so that they may be ahead of the inflation rates. Those still in the work force often have opportunities to earn more money, by their experience, time on the job, and through education and skill development. In March of this year, the average Old Age Security Pension $460.92 (a month), and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for a single senior was $408.66 (a month).
Not all seniors live on the poverty line bracket, some may have other pensions and incomes. But for those on a low income, perhaps a start would be to either significantly decrease the income tax rate or get rid of the tax on OAS. As baby boomers continue to make the number of pensioners greater each year, this group could eventually compose one third of the population. They will have a huge impact on the economy. I don't imagine businesses would object to pensioners having more money in their pockets. That's not my reason, rather more out of respect for our seniors. When illness and health starts to be more of a consideration for them, it impacts on their individual freedoms. It would be nice to see that freedom expanded by increasing old age security rates, or cutting taxes, so that they have more income to do what they like with in their golden years.