The United Way has updated its Living Wage rate. The last time the rate was updated was 2015 using 2014 data. Housing costs have significantly driven household costs significantly. The average rent across Ontario is now $1115 and The United Way has found many rental units in Bruce Grey are over the $1000 threshold.
What is a Living Wage?
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 living wage sample family is a non-smoking single parent, with an 8 year old son and a 15 year old daughter, working 40 hours a week.
According to a report issued by the United Way last week, the full time hourly wage should be $22.02, based upon single parent of 8 year old, 15 year old, non-smoking home. This is up from the 2015 rate of $17.10 per hour.
The Living Wage rate doesn’t cover things like owning a home, saving for retirement, paying down debt or saving for a children’s education.
A living wage is calculated based on what it costs to live in Bruce Grey so the living wage rates change from community to community as living expenses change.
“Making our sample family non-smoking made the extended health benefits the cheapest possible, so we know the costs will only increase for other families,” noted the United Way. “There is no major daycare costs other than possibly the occasional after school cost if the daughter is otherwise occupied on PD days etc. While there maybe recreational subsidies available, we did not take them into consideration because there is limited access to them.”