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Metro Vancouver's living wage has risen to $20.68/hr: report

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Summary

'Living wage' for family of four in Metro Vancouver has jumped 58 per cent from last year: CCPA

Report calculates living wage in the Fraser Valley to be $17.27/hr

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s no secret it’s tough to make ends meet living in Metro Vancouver but a new report has found a family of four with two young kids has to earn more than ever just to cover the basics.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, working with a number of other groups, has calculated the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver at $20.68 per hour for two working parents.

“It just keeps increasing,” says Deanna Ogle with the Living Wages for Families Campaign.

“In Vancouver, that rate is for each parent, working full time, with two children, one in full-time childcare and the other in before and after-school care.”

That is a 58 cent jump from the figure in last year’s Working for a Living Wage report from the CCPA, representing an increase of 2.9 per cent.

The general inflation rate was 1.1 per cent for Vancouver.

Ogle says it will come as no surprise to anyone raising a family in the Lower Mainland that the biggest expenses are housing, daycare, and food.

“We know that 41 per cent of families in Metro Vancouver aren’t making the living wage. It’s not even close to a reality for many families.”

Ogle says she’s often asked why people don’t simply move to an area where it’s cheaper to live.

“The reality is we will always need low-wage work. For every office worker, there’s going to be somebody coming in to clean those offices, there’s going to be somebody serving them a coffee. Those folks need to live in the community and need to be able to afford to do that,” she tells News1130.

The report calculated the living wage rate for the Fraser Valley at $17.27 per hour.