Rising costs for housing, child care and groceries are among the key factors resulting in a higher “living wage” in many B.C. communities, according to a new report from two research and policy groups.
For a family of four to live "modestly" in Metro Vancouver, it now takes both parents working full-time and earning $24.08 per hour — a 17.3 per cent jump from last year’s wage of $20.52.
Living Wage for Families and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-BC, say all B.C. communities are facing similar hikes to their living wage estimates, largely due to inflation of food prices and persistent rising housing costs.
Among 22 communities assessed, Daajing Giids comes in with the highest living wage at $25.87 while Victoria is the most expensive city at $24.29.
The groups consider a living wage the amount needed for such a family of four to pay for necessities to live a "modest" life while supporting the healthy development of the children.
For Metro Vancouver, this means, on average, spending $2,484 on a three-bedroom shelter, $1,114 on food, $892 on child care, $971 on “household and social participation” and $546 on transportation. Other costs under $200 include phone and internet, monthly clothing and education costs. The living wage ($43,826 annually) factors in government supports, including child benefit and GST credits from provincial and federal governments.
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