What is a Living Wage?

The living wage is what a worker needs to earn, per hour, at 40 hours per week, in order to make ends meet where they live.

The United Way of Bruce Grey began issuing a living wage report in 2014 using a single income family profile. To add their voice to the provincial Ontario Living Wage Call for Action, the United Way reconfigured their data to align with the provincial representative framework. The framework was developed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

How is the Living Wage calculated?

Major expenses that workers face such as shelter costs, transportation, childcare, and food are in the calculation. Also taken into account are other expenses such as internet access, a modest annual vacation, and clothing. Any applicable government taxes, transfers, and benefits are factored in as well. The result is an hourly wage that a worker must earn in order to make ends meet where they live.

For Bruce Grey, 3 demographic profiles were used to generate the standardized Living Wage for Bruce Grey:

  • Single person: $19.12
  • Single parent with 2 children: $24.74
  • 2 parents, 2 children: $21 .05 for both parents

Bruce Grey’s Living Wage increased by 12.5% from $18.39/hour in 2019 to $20.70/hour in 2022. Download a full report on how these rates are calculated.

Ontario Living Wage Rates

Across Ontario all rates are updated every year on the 2nd Monday of November. The Ontario Living Wage Network created a Living Wage map of all rates for comparisons across economic regions.

While no one should live below the poverty line, there is an understanding and an expectation that being employed full-time should lift a person, and their family, out of poverty.