After the Saskatchewan government announced that minimum wages will be going up, some businesses might be worried that the figure is rising too fast.
The province announced yesterday that the minimum wage would be going up to $13 on October 1, which is over three times as much as the last bump in 2021.
That rise will be replicated in the following years, with the wage going up to $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024, both similarly on October 1.
Estevan area businesses may be uncomfortable with that speedier rise, according to Jackie Wall, the Executive Director of the Estevan Chamber of Commerce.
"Minimum wage increases obviously need to happen. We live in a society with inflation and increasing costs. However, it really is much more beneficial when the increases are small and incremental, and there is enough time for businesses to take a look at how it will impact them."
Prices going up can be a factor after any type of wage increase, but Wall says that chalking those up solely to a minimum wage increase ignores the complexity and variability of businesses.
"I think as far as prices going up, it's way more complex than just a minimum wage increase. There are a lot of businesses that already pay above minimum wage, but even in those situations with the increase in costs and the inflationary costs and things going up," said Wall, "Everybody has to take a look at how they are going to pay their staff and their employees."
It's impossible to say what kind of wage increase would strike a good balance for workers and employers because of those differences between businesses.
"That's really difficult because businesses are really so diverse in nature ... it's very different when we're talking about a restaurant compared to an ag endeavor or an oil and gas endeavor," said Wall, "So to make an overall statement is really difficult. I think the main overall statement is that any increase that is impacting a business is going to change how they're looking at what they'll be doing moving forward."