Edmonton Social Planning Council News

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Click here to download: Edmonton's Living Wage - 2017 Update

 

For immediate release

June 28, 2017

Edmonton’s 2017 living wage calculated to be $16.31 per hour

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) estimates that two adults working for the full year with two children would each need to earn $16.31/hour to cover their basic expenses, to avoid severe financial stress and to participate in their communities.

The living wage is based on the actual cost of living in the City of Edmonton with government transfers, taxes and deductions included. 

While a minimum wage reflects the hourly wage that employers are required to pay all workers, the living wage reflects the actual cost of living in a specific municipality and allows families to provide for themselves and participate in their communities.

The living wage for 2017 is $0.38 less than the rate calculated in 2016. This reduction is accounted for by a full year of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the further enhancement of the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC). Under the AFETC, benefit amounts and income thresholds were increased and indexed to inflation. Unlike the AFETC, the CCB is not scheduled to be indexed to inflation until 2020.  

Executive Director Susan Morrissey emphasized how improvements to child benefits impact the living wage amount. “We are therefore not surprised to learn that the living wage reduced again this year. It shows how important child benefits are for families to sustain a modest standard of living and to provide for themselves in the City of Edmonton.” The ESPC predicts that the decreases in Edmonton’s living wage are not likely to continue beyond 2017 as no substantial additional income transfers for families on the horizon.

The City of Edmonton’s EndPovertyEdmonton initiative makes direct reference to advocating city council to develop a living wage policy. The commitment made by the city to its permanent and temporary workers is appreciated and commendable. The ESPC is working with the City and other community partners to leverage this commitment to assist in the development of a living wage campaign in Edmonton.

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Click here to download: Edmonton's Living Wage - 2017 Update

For more information:

Heather Curtis

Research Coordinator

Edmonton Social Planning Council