June 21, 2018

For Immediate Release

Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

Contending with Costs

For the first time in 2 years, the living wage for Edmonton has risen. For 2018, an income earner must make $16.48 per hour to support a family of four, an increase of $0.17 per hour from last year’s living wage. The living wage is intended to represent the wage required for a primary income earner to provide for themselves and their families, participate in their community, and have basic financial security. Ultimately, it is a call to the private and public sector to pay substantial wages that acknowledges the requirements to live with dignity and a decent quality of life.

Total annual expenses for a family of four has gone up. Median rent for three bedroom housing has increased, in addition to costs of transportation, continuing parent education, and extended health/dental plans.

The main question moving forward with the Edmonton living wage is whether or not indexation of benefits and government transfers will keep pace with rising costs of living. At the time of this publication, no details have been released about key government benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit and the Child Care Subsidy being indexed until 2020. Because of this, the ability of low and modest income families to maintain a decent standard of living is called into question.

The Edmonton Social Planning Council will be working with stakeholders across community organizations and municipalities to establish an Alberta Living Wage Network. The Network has been granted preliminary funding and will encourage employers and policymakers to implement a living wage and best practices across industries. This is a positive development and will lend momentum to the living wage campaign.

With its focus on providing high quality and timely research, the ESPC maintains a commitment to a living wage that is reflective of how people live and work while following best practices set out by our partners. This is the fourth consecutive year in which the Edmonton Social Planning Council has calculated a living wage for the capital region.

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For more information contact: Sandra Ngo, Research Coordinator (780) 423-2031x354