Philip Mock from the Prosperity Round Table says it’s different from the minimum wage.
“A living wage is done by looking calculations and how much it costs to actually live in Chatham-Kent. So it’s the cost of living and how can people meet their basic needs and still participate in the community,” explains Mock. “The living wage draws on community-specific data to determine the expenses of a family with two working adults, a child in school, and a child in full-time daycare.”
Mock says the living wage locally has risen 2.9% since 2014 when it was $15.86 an hour, and shows that Chatham-Kent is an affordable place to live.
“Waterloo Region is just below us at $16.05 an hour, while we’re sitting at $16.33 an hour. And the majority of the municipalities across Ontario are sitting way above that at $17 an hour, $18 an hour, Toronto is at $24. There are huge jumps in what those differences look like, so we’re at a relatively low living wage compared to the rest of the province,” says Mock.
Mock says a community’s living wage is determined by several factors, such as the cost of housing, clothing, food, childcare, and transportation.
He also says it’s concerning that there’s a growing gap between the $14/hour minimum wage and the living wage for 2018.