Living wage 2017: Metro Vancouver families face increasing child care and housing costs

April 26, 2017

(Vancouver) The wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver is virtually unchanged in the past year, however, child care and housing costs are major challenges for many families, a report released today finds.

The living wage is the calculation of the hourly wage that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account. The 2017 Metro Vancouver living wage is $20.62/hr for each parent to meet basic expenses including rent, child care, food and transportation. This is a decrease of only two cents from 2016’s $20.64/hr.

In 2017, the overall increase in expenses for Metro Vancouver was 2.6%, slightly higher than the general inflation rate of 2.2%, research for the report, Working for a Living Wage 2017: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver, found. The report is published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC office, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and the Living Wage for Families Campaign.

“The decrease in the living wage rates demonstrates that good public policy can have a positive impact on the lives of families,” says Deanna Ogle, Living Wage for Families Campaign organizer. “However, without a provincial poverty reduction plan that includes increasing units of affordable housing and affordable child care, families will continue to struggle to make ends meet. Families are counting on whomever forms the next provincial government to do better on these important affordability issues.”

Child care and housing continue to be the two biggest costs in Metro Vancouver’s living wage calculation with child care rising by $44 per month and rent increasing by $50 over the last year.

Read the full news release