Just Income Coalition

412 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0A9 ::

Can a family survive on minimum wage? You judge.

Some information about mental illness:

Starting April 1st, 2005, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour or a gross amount of starting April 1st, 2005. That adds up to a gross amount of $15.080 annually. With no benefits and after all the pay-roll deductions, is there enough money to provide decend housing, food, clothing, transportation, dental and eye care for a family? People who sometimes drop in at Micah House can't manage on it even with stringent budgeting.

Following are some statistics:

How Many Manitobans Work for Minimum Wage?

  • In 2003, 4.6% of Manitoba's labour force or 22,100 workers were employed in minimum wage jobs. This has increased from 2001 when 19,000 workers - 4.1 % of employees worked for minimum wage.
  • Manitoba has a high percentage of employees earning minimum wage compared to the other provinces. Between July 2003 and June 2004, 7.4% of Manitoba employees earned minimum wage in Manitoba, higher than the Canadian average of 5.6% and second only to Nova Scotia at 8.2%.
  • 15.2% of Manitoba workers earn less than $8.00/hour and 31.1% of workers earn low wages (defined as less than two thirds of the national median wage).

Who Earns the Minimum Wage and Who Benefits from an Increase?

  • Approximately 70% of minimum wage workers are in retail, accommodation, and food service industries.
  • According to 2001 data, over 60% of minimum wage earners are adults and two thirds are women; 67% worked part-time and 34% worked full time; 20% of minimum wage workers are family heads; and
  • Of the minimum wage workforce, 58% have less than high school; 23% have graduated from high school; 9% have some post-secondary; and 10% have completed post-secondary education.