The minimum wage in Nova Scotia is increasing to $10.00 per hour on Oct. 1. This is a 3.6 per cent increase from the present rate of $9.65. The minimum wage for inexperienced workers, with less than three months’ experience in the work for which they were hired, will rise to $9.50. In January 2008, the Minimum Wage Review Committee recommended a series of minimum wage increases. After the last of the scheduled increases in October 2010, the committee met again to make recommendations on how to go forward. Their report and recommendations were released on March 11, 2011 for public comment. “The minimum wage rate is an important benchmark that must continue to reflect the current economic climate,” says Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “We received over 40 separate responses on the report from a wide variety of organizations and individuals including those representing employees, employers, businesses, labour and advocacy groups. Each of these submissions presented a unique viewpoint that we carefully reviewed before making our decision. “This increase is consistent with increases across the country and brings the rate back inline in terms of buying power with where it was in the mid 1970’s. It ensures that Nova Scotians continue to be paid fairly for their work.” After the increase in October, future increases will occur in April, beginning in 2012, indexing the minimum wage to the low income cut off, which represents the threshold where people are devoting a significantly larger than average percentage of their income to the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clothing. This will be done based on the national estimated Consumer Price Index from the previous calendar year which is usually released in January. Increasing the rate annually based on inflation will directly impact over 50,000 Nova Scotians who make close to the minimum wage. This group makes up about 16 per cent of the workforce. The increase brings Nova Scotia in line with the other Atlantic provinces which have all either announced plans to increase to $10 per hour this fiscal year or are now at this rate. In addition to minimum wage increases, the province continues to help Nova Scotians get the right skills for good jobs and invest in improvements to the Employment Support and Income Assistance. For more information on these programs and more, visit www.gov.ns.ca .