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Minimum wage increased to $15.20 per hour

Minimum wage in the Northwest Territories is set to be increased for the first time since 2018.

Effective September 1st, 2021, minimum wage will jump from $13.46 per hour to $15.20 per hour.

“The GNWT is committed to striking a balance between maintaining fair and competitive wage rates while encouraging economic activity and supporting small businesses,” R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment said in a statement. 

“By providing workers across the territory with a minimum wage more suitable to the cost of living, and businesses the option to attract more workers for minimum wage positions — I am confident that this increase will benefit both NWT workers and businesses.”

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The decision comes after Simpson was presented research by the Minimum Wage Committee, which was established in 2013. The Minimum Wage Committee is comprised of representatives from business, labour and community organizations across the territory.
Last week, the GNWT announced it would be extending its minimum wage top up, which allows minimum wage workers to be paid $18 an hour, until August 31.

This came after repeated calls from MLA’s to increase the minimum wage. Kevin O’Reilly, MLA for Frame Lake, said it would be unbelievable if the GNWT didn’t increase the minimum wage.

Alternatives North, a local social justice coalition, Poverty Report Card for NWT, found a number of the GNWT’s policies fail to reduce poverty in the territory. They also said the minimum wage was too low.

To provide a decent standard of living, someone would have to work for 37.5 hours, earning $23.95 in Yellowknife, $24.75 if they lived in Hay River and $23.78 in Inuvik, according to the report.

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