It is time to take a moment and think, “What do you need to earn to live in Hamilton these days?” We would all come up with a different number I am sure depending on our lifestyle and expectations. But, what do you need to earn if you are a low income earner in Hamilton? When you consider what the cost of the basics are– rent, food, transportation, etc. – there is no ‘depending’ about it.
What is the living wage? For those of you who have not yet been introduced to the concept of the living wage or for those that need a refresher, it is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in their community. For consistency, each community calculates the living wage based on a national framework. It is based on a family of four, two parents and two children.
To develop the living wage a community takes the standardized numbers available from sources like Statistics Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing to examine the cost of rent, food, utilities, transportation and clothing and so on for this family in their community. They plug these numbers into a spreadsheet and there you have it, a number that is customized for your community.
Since introducing our first living wage calculation in Hamilton in 2011 we have revisited our calculation twice to keep up with ever increasing costs of food and housing in Hamilton. The latest calculation is being launched this week.
So, for Hamilton, what is our new living wage?
The living wage for Hamilton in 2019 is $16.45.
As I mentioned above this is the cost for a family of four with two living wage earners to pay for the necessities. You can check the individual numbers for these items in Hamilton on the Living Wage website. While you now have sense of what is included, you also need to know what is not included. Things like debt repayment, home ownership, retirement saving or savings for children’s education.
Are you a responsible employer who cares about your employees and prosperity in Hamilton? Join the Hamilton Living Wage movement. You can learn more about becoming a Living Wage employer or being active supporter of the living wage in Hamilton here.