Australia's Fair Work Commission raises minimum wage by 3.5pc

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Mr Montero says the Fair Work Commission's decision on Friday to raise the minimum wage by 3.5 per cent to $719.20 a week, or $18.93 an hour, was disappointing.

"The level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to undue inflationary pressure and is highly unlikely to have any measurable negative impact on employment", the commissioner said.

According to the B.C. government announcement this week, the following wage increases will be in effect June 1. Ontario ranks 1 with a minimum wage of $14.00/hour, though Alberta - the current home of Canada's second-highest minimum wage - will see an increase to $15.00/hour on October 1. Saskatchewan's minimum wage of $10.96 is now the lowest in Canada.

Employer groups had argued for a rise of no more than $13 a week.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation Craig Laundy said the Government supported a balanced wage increase, contrary to claims by the ACTU.

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ACTU secretary Sally McManus welcomed the decision, saying it was the biggest percentage increase the commission has awarded.

"We need in our country for no full-time worker to live in poverty".

AUSTRALIA'S lowest paid workers will receive a 3.5 per cent pay increase.

"While the minimum wage influences around 20 percent of the labor market directly, I seriously doubt this development will provide any material lift to Australian average wage growth in the year ahead".

"The real value of the national minimum wage has increased by 5.8% over the last decade and by 4.3% in the past five years. However, this has not resulted in improvement to the actual or relative living standards for many categories of national minimum wage and award-reliant households due to changes in the tax transfer system", the FWC said in a statement.

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