Minimum wage earners in the territory may notice a small bump in their paycheques after April 1.
That’s when the Yukon’s minimum wage is set to increase to $15.70 an hour from the current $15.20 an hour.
In a Jan. 27 statement, the Yukon government noted the increase is based on the 2021 consumer price index for Whitehorse, which is at 3.3 per cent. Minimum wage is adjusted annually according to the CPI, as is the fair wage paid to to those working on government-tendered construction contracts.
The fair wage amount will rise by 3.3 per cent across each of the four wage categories.
“The rise in inflation is increasing costs of everyday life for all Yukoners,” reads the statement. “This increase will help people earning minimum wage to afford necessities. It will also help businesses attract and retain employees.”
It was noted the increase aligns with other regions that have also raised minimum wage to $15 an hour or more. Among them are British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The federal government also increased its minimum wage to $15 for federally-regulated employees.
While the CPI changes mean minimum wage will increase, it also means a 3.3 per cent increase to the temporary rent index.
The index limits rental increases to the annual CPI change each year with the 2022 change to come into effect May 15, the government noted in another Jan. 27 statement.
“An essential component of the Yukon’s economic prosperity is ensuring that tenants can access affordable housing and that landlords can continue to contribute to the rental market,” the statement reads. “The intent of this temporary residential index is to allow renters to better plan for the future, knowing their rent will not be increasing dramatically each year. It is one of a number of approaches that is underway to address the need for affordable housing in the Yukon.”
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