Hiking minimum wage could cost 50,000 jobs: watchdog

Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour could cost 50,000 jobs, warns Ontario’s independent fiscal watchdog.

The Financial Accountability Office on Tuesday released a six-page assessment of the Liberal government’s forthcoming hike to the $11.40-an-hour wage, which will jump to $14 in January and $15 in 2019.

“On net, the FAO estimates that Ontario’s proposed minimum wage increase will result in a loss of approximately 50,000 jobs (0.7 per cent of total employment), with job losses concentrated among teens and young adults,” the office said.

“The higher minimum wage will increase payroll costs for Ontario businesses, leading to some job losses for lower income workers,” it continued, echoing the concerns of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

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