Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

The Economic Effects of Living Wage Laws

Document type Report
Author Lammam, Charles
Date 2014 January
Pages 44


For many years, Canadian governments have tried to legislate higher earnings for low-wage workers. With origins at the municipal level, living wage laws are a relatively new policy that gained prominence in American cities starting in the mid-1990s. Currently more than 140 American municipalities have a living wage law. In 2011, the City of New Westminster in British Columbia became the first and only Canadian city to adopt a living wage ordinance. This report reviews the scholarly research on living wage laws from the United States and concludes that the US experience should make us cautious about adopting this policy more widely in Canada. -- Publisher's description