restricted access Minimum Wage Increases as an Anti-Poverty Policy in Ontario

In this article, we consider the possibility of alleviating poverty in Ontario through minimum wage increases. Using survey data from 2004 to profile low wage earners and poor households, we find two important results. First, over 80 percent of low wage earners are not members of poor households and, second, over 75 percent of poor households do not have a member who is a low wage earner. We also present simulation results which suggest that, even without any negative employment effects, planned increases in Ontario’s minimum wage will lead to virtually no reduction in the level of poverty.