The New Brunswick government announced Thursday it will boost the province’s minimum wage by $2 per hour in 2022, the most significant jump in over 40 years.

An increase of $1 per hour in April and another $1 per hour hike in October will raise the minimum wage to $13.75 per hour for New Brunswick workers, slightly higher than the other Atlantic provinces.

Currently, New Brunswick has the lowest minimum wage in Canada, with some provinces setting the rate at $15 or higher. Over the past two years, officials say the median wage in New Brunswick has risen 14 per cent, but there has only been a two per cent increase in the minimum wage.

“New Brunswickers are having a hard time making ends meet, and the current minimum wage has many people concerned,” said Labour Minister Trevor Holder.  “We realize that given the current economic conditions, these additional increases are critically important.”

This adjustment will benefit about 15,500 minimum wage earners, as well as 30,000 New Brunswick workers who earn more than the current minimum wage but less than $13.75 per hour.

The first increase will come in April to give the business community time to prepare and adjust, officials said.

In 2019, the Minimum Wage Regulation was changed under the Employment Standards Act to index minimum wage increases to New Brunswick’s consumer price index. The provincial government, however, determined a correction was necessary to boost the minimum wage to an appropriate level in a single year.

In 2023, New Brunswick’s minimum wage will resume being tied directly to the consumer price index.

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