Jobs for young people and low-income earners could be at risk from a $15 minimum wage in Ontario.

That’s the finding of a report from non-partisan think tank the Fraser Institute which says the 32% increase in the province’s minimum wage would be felt more in areas outside Toronto.

“Economic conditions are not the same across Ontario, so the negative effects of a $15 minimum wage—namely job losses for young and low-skilled workers—will be more severe in some areas of the province,” explained Ben Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute’s Ontario Prosperity Initiative and co-author of Ontario Enters Uncharted Waters with a $15 Minimum Wage.

The analysis of previous research shows that when the minimum wage is more than 45% of the average wage, negative economic impacts are more severe.

While $15 would be 47% of Toronto’s average wage, it would be 56% of the average hourly rate in Hamilton and London and 53% of the rate in Thunder Bay.

“Young people and low-skilled workers will suffer job losses across Ontario, but the costs could be especially high in regions of the province where the average wage is lower than in Toronto,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and study co-author.

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