Ontario NDP Finance Critic, Catherine Fife, called on Premier Wynne to raise the minimum wage to $15 as a first step in taking action for young Ontario workers, after a Statistics Canada report found precarious job prospects facing youth who have less full time jobs and earn less today than in the 1980s.
“If young Ontarians can find work, it is often precarious work. It is increasingly difficult for the young people of this province to establish themselves. Life is becoming more unaffordable. Costs are going up and wages are staying flat,” said Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo. “When is the government going to wake up to the realities facing young people and make the changes that will allow them to stay and prosper right here in the province of Ontario?”
Today, Statistics Canada released their long-term perspective on the youth labour market. It shows that young Ontarians are less likely to be employed full-time and earn less today than in the 1980s.
“Young Ontarians right across the province are hurting. They are leaving school and not finding work. The youth unemployment rate is higher than 30 per cent in Barrie, 17 per cent in Hamilton, and 16 per cent in London,” said Fife. “To make matters worse, wages are actually declining. According to Stats Canada, young, full-time employees are making less today than they were in the 1980s. The numbers don’t lie.”
“It’s getting harder to live in Ontario and build a good life for the young people of this province. Will the Premier admit that the status quo isn’t working and take an important step by raising the minimum wage to $15?” asked Fife.