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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
December 22, 2009

Minimum Wage to Increase on January 1

Effective January 1, 2010, the provincial minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $9.50 per hour. This increase represents another step by the Provincial Government toward meeting its commitment of achieving a minimum wage of $10 per hour by 2010.

�The Williams Government is dedicated to ensuring all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are able to share in the growing prosperity of our province,� said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human resources, Labour and Employment. �Our plan to increase the minimum wage to $10 through a gradual series of increases was based on extensive consultations with employers and workers. I am confident these increases will allow our province to offer one of the most attractive and competitive work environments in the country, and I look forward to achieving our $10 per hour wage target this July.�

The current series of increases to the minimum wage began on January 1, 2009, when the minimum wage was increased to $8.50 per hour. The decision to implement 50 cent increases to the minimum wage every six months reflects a balanced approach that achieves the Provincial Government�s commitment while recognizing the need for employers to have time to prepare for the increases. The final scheduled increase will take effect on July 1, 2010.

Increasing earned incomes is one of the goals of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. This strategy was developed with broad community input to meet the Provincial Government�s commitment to make Newfoundland and Labrador the province with the lowest level of poverty in Canada by 2014. Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation allocated $132.2 million to invest in new initiatives to prevent, reduce and alleviate poverty. Minister Sullivan recently released a progress report for the strategy that revealed Newfoundland and Labrador has moved from being a province with one of the highest levels of poverty in Canada to being the province with the third lowest level since the strategy�s implementation.

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Media contact:
Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 690-2498 

2009 12 22                                                   10:05 a.m.

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