Wages on the Borderline
Getting a pay rise in the border city of Lloydminster could be a matter of crossing the road.
The gap between the minimum wage in Saskatchewan and Alberta widened to almost $4 on Monday.
Minimum wage-earners in Saskatchewan will see their hourly rates rise by 10 cents from Oct. 1, when the provincial rate increases from $10.96 to $11.06.
On the same day in Alberta, the minimum wage increased by $1.40, increasing the lowest allowable wage from $13.60 to $15.
The city of Lloydminster straddles the Alberta and Saskatchewan borders, meaning some workers on the Saskatchewan side could increase their pay by almost $4 by finding work on the other side of Highway 17.
Business owners and managers on the eastern side of the border are bracing for possible impacts by increasing wages, raising prices and reducing their full-time workforce.
Some might point to this as an argument for a uniform minimum wage, but I expect it to more-or-less work itself out. Businesses on the Saskatchewan side will either raise the wages to compete with the Albertan counterparts, or they will accept having the employees who can’t get jobs on the other side.