What is a Living Wage?

What is it?

It’s the hourly wage needed for a family to afford basic everyday expenses, such as housing, food, clothing, utility bills, and child care. The hourly Living Wage rate is based on the living expenses of a family of four with both parents working full-time for 37.5 hours a week. The Living Wage rate doesn’t cover things like owning a home, saving for retirement, paying down debt or saving for your children’s education. A living wage is calculated based on what it costs to live in a specific community, so living wage rates change from community to community as living expenses change.

Other communities in Ontario and across Canada are calculating their own living wage amounts based on what it costs to live in those cities. In 2010, New Westminster and Esquimalt in British Columbia became the first two municipalities in Canada to pass living wage policies whereby all municipal staff, including contracted service staff will be paid a living wage.

Explaining the living wage calculation:
Hamilton’s 2014 Living Wage rate is $14.95.

Additional links:
CCPA Ontario’s Working for a Living Project
Living Wage Canada