TD Bank: 90k Ontario jobs could be lost by 2020 amid $15 minimum wage

The Ontario government is raising the minimum wage to $15 in two years.

As part of the scandal-plagued Liberals’ efforts to attract more voters ahead of next year’s provincial election, Queen’s Park announced that it is hiking the minimum wage to $15 as of January 1, 2019, and businesses and think-tanks are already sounding the alarms.

According to a new report from TD Bank, Ontario’s planned $15 minimum wage will cost the provincial economy as many as 90,000 jobs by 2020.

“Ontario’s bold plan to raise the minimum wage by one-third over the next 18 months has fueled much debate about its potential impact on Canada’s largest economy,” the bank reported in its economic assessment on Tuesday.

“Raising the minimum wage can potentially generate more benefits to society than costs in terms of any resulting job lost. However, the relatively rapid speed of the implementation and its timing within the economic cycle are two factors that will likely accentuate the negative hit to Ontario employment.”

The financial institution further reported that the Ontario economy will expand, but at a slower rate of 0.5 percent annually.

This report comes two weeks after the Financial Accountability Office (FAO), the province’s economic watchdog, warned that 50,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the progressive minimum wage. It also projected that teenagers and young adults would be the most affected by the higher minimum wage.

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