Calculating a Living Wage for the Waterloo Region

October 16, 2014
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A Waterloo region family of four with two working parents needs to earn $16 an hour to make ends meet.

This report explains how the calculation was arrived at by the Waterloo Region Living Wage Steering Committee. This is the region’s first living wage calculation based on a national methodology created by the CCPA that is being adopted in communities throughout Ontario and across Canada.

A living wage:

  • enables working families to have sufficient income to cover reasonable costs
  • promotes social inclusion
  • supports healthy child development principles

A living wage provides families with a basic level of economic security and lifts them out of poverty and severe financial stress.

Paying a living wage results in healthier communities where individuals and families have the resources to fully participate in community life. The living wage is different from community to community as it is based on the cost of living.

The living wage is calculated as the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs, once government transfers have been added to the family's income and deductions have been subtracted.