In 1914 Henry Ford, a known anti-socialist, anti-union industrialist did the unthinkable. Henry doubled the wages paid to his auto manufacturing company employees.
Henry Ford did that for two reasons: turnover was a problem in the industry and he needed to increase the size of his market. Henry’s plan worked. By driving up pay for production workers, he increased their buying power and made the cars they were making affordable for them. The middle class in the US grew substantially and the standard of living improved for the entire country. Henry Ford’s company did grow and he became much, much wealthier.
This fall in Canada, minimum wage rates are increasing in a number of provinces – though not quite like Henry Ford’s 1914 increase – with lots of public backlash. The biggest argument against doing so is that our economy is struggling, unemployment is high and paying people more will make things worse. That ‘feels’ like it makes sense and many people argue it does. Henry Ford disagreed and so does research on the creation of healthy economies and societies.
According to the Stats Canada Labour Force survey data (2014) about 7.2% (1.5 million people) of Canada’s workforce earns minimum wage. About 60% of those are women, approximately 45% are 25 years old and older and about 45% work for companies with more than 500 employees. In Canada, minimum wage is lower than the living wage for every major city for which data is available.
Following is information on the Minimum Wage Rates and the Living Wage Rates .
To learn more about living wage rates: