New Brunswick minimum wage to go up by a nickel on April 1

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New Brunswick minimum wage increases are indexed to the consumer price index, which last year went up by 0.22 per cent in the province. (epridnia - stock.adobe.com - image credit)
New Brunswick minimum wage increases are indexed to the consumer price index, which last year went up by 0.22 per cent in the province. (epridnia - stock.adobe.com - image credit)

Some New Brunswick workers will see a slight bump in their paycheques come spring.

The minimum wage is set to increase by five cents on April 1, bringing it up to $11.75 an hour from $11.70.

The five-cent increase was arrived at because the minimum wage in New Brunswick is indexed to the province's consumer price index, which saw a 0.22 per cent increase last year.

In a statement posted to the province's website, Labour Minister Trevor Holder said tying the minimum wage to the consumer price index protects "the purchasing power of employees" while also ensuring "predictability for businesses."

"We are mindful of the financial realities faced by both employees and employers, particularly as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic."

The increase is relatively small compared with recent increases.

In 2020 the minimum wage rose by 20 cents in 2019, by 25 cents in 2018 and by 35 cents in 2017.

The province estimates that 20,000 workers in New Brunswick make minimum wage.

The province has the second-lowest minimum wage in the country. Saskatchewan has the lowest at $11.45, and Nunavut has the highest at $16.

The other three Atlantic provinces are also raising their minimum wages later this year, but they're already higher than New Brunswick's will be after the April increase.

In Nova Scotia, the minimum wage is now $12.55, in P.E.I. it's $12.85, and in Newfoundland and Labrador it's $12.15.