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Working for a living wage: Making paid work meet basic family needs in metro Vancouver

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Ivanova, Iglika; Klein, Seth & Reaño, Pamela
Publication Date: 
31 Mar 2017


The 2017 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $20.62 an hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe fnancial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities.

The Metro Vancouver living wage was frst calculated in 2008 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and Victoria’s Community Social Planning Council. That full report, detailing the principles, rationale, methodology, data sources, and business case for the living wage can be found at

Since 2008, of course, the cost of living has increased and government taxes and transfers have changed—so each year we update our calculation. Notably, the 2017 living wage is two cents less than last year’s. Although the cost of living continues to rise, the new, more generous Canada Child Beneft (CCB) boosts family incomes enough to absorb the higher costs (read more about this on page 5).