Federal minimum wage to rise to $15 per hour on December 29

News release

Over 26,000 workers in federally regulated private sector will directly benefit

December 17, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s economic prosperity depends on everyone having a fair chance to succeed. For people employed in minimum-wage jobs trying to support themselves and their families, every dollar makes a difference. Whether it be at the grocery store, in their housing payments or simply making ends meet, affected workers will benefit from increased buying power when the minimum wage rises.

That is why, in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposed a $15 per hour federal minimum wage. Today, Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr. highlighted that this important change will take effect on December 29 for workers in the federally regulated private sector. For those working in provinces or territories where the minimum wage is higher, the higher wage will apply. This amendment represents an important step forward in reducing poverty and inequality in Canada.

The amendments made to Part III of the Canada Labour Code to set the new federal minimum wage, also ensure that it will rise with inflation. Every April 1, beginning in 2022, the federal minimum wage will be adjusted (rounded up to the nearest $0.05) based on Canada's Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year as reported by Statistics Canada. 

These changes align with recent updates to federal labour standards, such as hours of work, annual vacations and general holidays, and the introduction of legislation to provide ten days of paid sick leave. Together, these improvements will help ensure that employees in the federally regulated private sector have a robust and modern set of labour standards that reflect the realities of 21st century workplaces. 


“Canada’s economic prosperity depends on every Canadian having a fair chance to succeed. The new $15 per hour federal minimum wage will support thousands of workers, lift more Canadians out of poverty, and support our economic recovery. It’s one of the many ways we are working to improve the quality of life of workers and their families across the country.”   

– Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Quick facts

  • An estimated 26,000 federally regulated private sector employees earn less than $15 per hour and will benefit from the new rate. The majority of these employees work in Ontario and Quebec. Based on estimates, 59% of these workers are men and 41% are women.  

  • The largest portion of employees earning less than $15 per hour in the federally regulated private-sector work in non-road transportation (34%), followed by road transportation (23%), telecommunications, broadcasting and others (19%), postal services (12%) and banks (12%).

  • The federally regulated sector is comprised of workplaces from a broad range of industries, including banks, postal and courier services, and interprovincial air, rail, road, and marine transportation.

  • There are approximately 18,500 employers in federally regulated industries, including federal Crown corporations, which together employ 955,000 people (about 6% of all employees in Canada). The vast majority (87%) of these people work in companies with 100 or more employees.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Daniel Pollak
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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