In a report released on July 16th, Statistics Canada notes that, adjusted for inflation, the Canadian minimum wage in 2013 was almost identical to what it was in 1975. More people are also earning minimum wage than in the past.
In 2013, the average minimum wage was $10.14 per hour while in 1975 the minimum wage (translated into 2013 dollars) was $10.13. However, Statistics Canada notes that the amount did fluctuate over the 38 years. Between 1975 and 1986, for example, the real minimum wage declined, going from $10.13 to $7.53. Between 2003 and 2013, data show that the real minimum wage increased from $8.27 to $10.14.
As for the number of people earning minimum wage, the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey reveals that in recent years the number of people working for minimum wage has increased, up from 5% in 1997 to 6.7% in 2013. Most of this increase occurred between 2003 and 2010, and is partly due to the fact that some of those who were paid just above the former minimum rate became paid at the new, revised rate and joined the group of minimum-wage earners.
The statistics also show that young people, the less educated, part-time employees, and those working in service industries were most likely to be paid at minimum wage. "The proportion of paid employees at the minimum-wage rate was 17% in retail trade industries and 27% in accommodation and food services industries. Together, these two industries accounted for more than 60% of all employees earning the minimum wage in 2013," says Statistics Canada.