As the least populous of Canada’s provinces and territories, the population of Nunavut is estimated to be 39,589 in 2022.
With its limited infrastructure and restrictive supply chain, the cost of living is higher. And it is no surprise that Nunavut offers the highest minimum wage in Canada at a rate of $16.00 per hour.
While there are no age restrictions, there are a few other restrictions to receiving this wage, which will be covered in this article.
The current minimum wage in Nunavut is $16 per hour, and this has been in place since April 1, 2020. The rate is reviewed every April and, if required, is adjusted based on the cost of living.
Nunavut does not have an extensive history of minimum wage changes since it only became an independent territory in 1999.
A brief overview of the minimum hourly wage rates in Nunavut:
- April 1, 2020: $16
- March 2, 2016: $13
- January 1, 2011: $11
- September 5, 2008: $10
- March 3, 2003: $8.50
The minimum wage of $16 dollars an hour is the bottom line for employees in this territory. However, earning capacity can be higher.
While there is no age restriction to be eligible for this minimum wage, there are other restrictions to keep in mind.
Some of these restrictions pertain to trappers or workers at commercial fisheries. If lodging or boarding is provided for the employee, the employers here are allowed to deduct the cost from the employee’s salary.
Since these sectors amount to a significant portion of the territory’s economic output, this would be applicable to a large amount of the population.
Since taxes in Canada are progressive, the amount you pay is dependent on your income threshold. Nunavut also follows a progressive structure for its territorial taxes.
Nunavut has one of the lowest tax rates in the country. Here is a list that outlines the tax rates for different incomes in 2022:
- Up to $46,862: 4.00%
- $46,862.01 – $95,724: 7.00%
- $95,724 – $155,625: 9.00%
- $155,625 and more: 11.5%
The federal taxes (paid in addition to the territorial taxes) are as follows:
- Up to $50,197: 15%
- $50,197.01 – $100,392: 20.50%
- $100,392.01 – $155,625: 26%
- $155,625.01 – $221,708: 29%
- $221,708.01+: 33%
The federal basic personal amount (BPA) is $14,398, and Nunavut’s amount is $16,862.
This means that you don’t pay federal taxes on the first $14,398 earned and territorial taxes on the first $16,862 earned.
Tax example in Nunavut:
Let’s say your taxable income for 2022 is $40,000.
- The territorial tax in Nunavut would be: $40,000 x 4.00% = $1,600
- The federal taxes would be: $40,000 x 15% = $6,000
- Your total tax bill would then be: $1,600 + $6,000 = $7,600.
Most wage deductions are standard across the country.
The Labour Standards Act protects employees by prohibiting employers from making unwarranted deductions. The Act makes it clear that the employee must authorize this in writing if there is a need for further deductions.
Canada Pension Plan
Canadian workers are obligated to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan. The first $3,500 is exempted annually, and then 4.95% is calculated on your remaining income for the year, and this is divided across your paycheques. CPP contributions result in pension payments when you retire.
Both the employer and employee pay Employment Insurance. At 1.58%, the maximum insurable amount is $60,300. The employee makes a maximum annual contribution of $952.74.
Income Tax is one of the other deductions, as covered above.
If there are court orders related to alimony, child support, insolvency, or any other valid legal deductions, these can be taken from the paycheque.
It will become the employer’s responsibility to deduct the amount according to the court order.
The minimum wage is reviewed every April and accounts for the cost of living in the territory.
Nunavut’s minimum wage was last increased in 2020, and due to the rising costs of living across the country and high inflation rates, there have been calls to increase it in 2022.
Based on news reports, the government plans to review the minimum wage later this year to ensure it can be considered a living wage.
Minimum Wage in Canada
Here is a chart for the minimum wage rates across Canada:
|Province/Territory Name||Minimum Wage (per hour)|
|New Brunswick||$12.75 (will increase to $13.75 on October 1st, 2022)|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$13.20 (will increase to $13.70 on October 1st, 2022)|
|Nova Scotia||$13.35 (will increase to $13.60 on October 1st, 2022)|
|Prince Edward Island||$13.70|
|Saskatchewan||$11.81 (will increase to $13.00 on October 1st, 2022)|
Nunavut has the highest minimum wage in all of Canada. In terms of provinces, British Columbia currently has the highest minimum wage in Canada, with a rate of $15.65 per hour.
The average income in Nunavut is approximately $68,250 per year or $35 per hour.
The average price per unit for new housing grew to more than $825,000 in 2021. This is nearly double the $450,000 that it cost in 2018.
Currently, Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage in Canada, but there are scheduled plans to increase this in October to $13.00 an hour. In October 2023, this is planned to increase further to $14.00 an hour and to $15.00 an hour in October 2024.