Minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that an employer is legally permitted to pay to employees. There are 2 sets of minimum-wage laws, reflecting the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments. The federal minimum wage covers employees in designated federal industries while the provincial minimum wage covers most other employees - farm labourers being a notable exception. The 1987 federal minimum wage was $4 per hour, a level lower than that of most provinces. Alberta's minimum wage in 1997 was $5 per hour, Ontario's was $6.85 and Newfoundland's $5. Current federal policy is to apply the minimum wage of the province to federal jurisdiction workers in that province. Minimum wages were initially legislated in Canada during the 1920s, but economists have for many years disagreed about their effectiveness, arguing that they may price low-skilled workers out of the market and cause unemployment.