Minimum Wage Increase Negatively Impacts Thunder Bay


The minimum wage increase has had a mostly negative impact on local businesses, according to a study done by Lakehead University researchers, which you can read in full here:ย Minimum Wage Impact Report


The study estimated between 300 and 1,150 jobs may be shed locally due to the increase. The minimum wage soared from $11.60 to $14 an hour on January 1st, 2018, the largest jump ever.

Workers have been seeing their hours reduced and customers are seeing higher prices, as businesses attempt to cover the increase to their operating costs.

Thunder Bayโ€™s stagnant economy seems to have had an impact on how respondents to the survey answered.

โ€œBusinesses that were strong and hiring more people seemed to be less concerned with the minimum wage,โ€ โ€“ Carmillo Lento, Lakehead University Associate Professor of Accounting.


49% of people who answered, claimed the minimum wage increase has been mostly negative.

6% of people who answered said it was mostly positive.

33% had no feeling positive or negative.

10% were unsure.

โ€œIn communities where the growth is not as much, like Thunder Bay, about 1.2 or 1.3 (percent) probably this year, because it has an impactโ€ โ€“ย Bahram Dadgostar business administration dean, who worked alongside researchers on the report.

The study also highlights which jobs are most likely to be affected by the hike, and fast food workers were on the list, along with home-care workers, cashiers, lifeguards, grocery produce stockers, clerks, retail sales associates, estheticians and servers. The study also indicates that people in the 15-25 years old category are most likely to end up on the downside of the increase.


City of Thunder Bay Councillor Frank Pullia has calculated the cities increased costs due to the hike at $1.1 million for 2018.

A lotย of these jobs will and have been automated, automation is ultimately where continued large jumps in the minimum wage will most likely lead. McDonaldโ€™s has already started along this trend, with their self-order kiosks, and their โ€œOrder Online Appโ€ where you place an order and wait in the parking lot for your food to be run out to you.