____Tuesday November 15, 2016 ____

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Economy

Change in federal policy lowers living wage rate for Waterloo region 2017

The 2017 living wage rate in Waterloo region is $15.42 an hour.

The living wage rate is the hourly wage someone working full-time, full-year needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and support social inclusion in community life. It is based on actual costs in local communities. So the Waterloo Region living wage rate reflects the actual cost for things like rent, food, transportation, hydro, child care, etc. in Waterloo region.

The calculation also takes into account taxes and government transfers. In 2016, the federal government introduced changes to child benefits increasing incomes for low- and modest-income families and offsetting higher household expenses enough to reduce the living wage rate.

Living Wage Waterloo Region calculation is based on the National Living Wage framework using a reference household of a family of four with two parents each working full-time, full-year. This new calculation reflects a decrease of 63 cents from the 2016 amount of $16.05. Over the past year there has been an increase in household expenses mainly due to a rise in child care costs. However, this increase was offset by the expansion of the Canada Child Benefit implemented by the federal government in 2016.

The living wage is more than just a number. It is also a practical tool for employers who want to help reduce poverty through paid work.

There are currently 31 employers registered in the living wage program in Waterloo region. The Living Wage Employer Program recognizes employers who voluntarily choose to pay their direct and indirect employees a living wage. The Living Wage Employer Program is open to all employers – businesses, non-profit organizations and public sector employers.

For more details about the 2017 calculation



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