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Earning, Living, Spending

2016 Waterloo Region Living Wage Rate is $16.05

Cambridge - The 2016 Living Wage rate for Waterloo Region is $16.05 an hour. That represents a slight increase from the 2015 rate. Living Wage Waterloo Region announced the new calculation at its Employer Recognition event tonight in Cambridge. Print-quality photos from tonight’s event are available on request.

The living wage calculation includes expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, childcare, transportation, medical expenses, recreation and a modest vacation. The living wage does not include retirement savings, debt repayment, home ownership, savings for children’s education, or anything other than the smallest cushion for emergencies or hard times.

The cost of living rose slightly for the Living Wage reference household in Waterloo Region -- a family of four with two parents and two young children (3 and 8 years old). Household expenses rose in several categories, including housing costs, food, child care, and health care while declining slightly for transportation, clothing, and household supplies. Overall annual expenses were about $1,730 for the reference household compared to the 2015 Living Wage calculation of $16.

The power of public investment

The Living Wage Calculation also takes into account taxes and tax credits. An increase in tax credits offset some of the rise household expenses. And public investments in services like child care, not to mention public education and health care, have a powerful impact on household income. Without those public investments, the living wage rate would be very much higher.

Living Wage Waterloo Region is a collaborative initiative to encourage employers in Waterloo Region to pay a living wage. The vision of Living Wage Waterloo Region is that Waterloo Region be a community where paid work provides people with a standard of living that allows for health and well-being and opportunity to participate in the life of the community. The main activities of Living Wage Waterloo Region include:

Calculating the living wage rate for Waterloo Region annually;
Encouraging Waterloo Region employers to join the Living Wage Employers Program;
Promoting the benefits of the living wage for the whole community.
Living Wage Household Expenses

The 2016 living wage calculation is based on the cost of living for goods and services in Waterloo Region in 2015. Those expenses totalled $59,206 annually or $4,967 a month.


The Living Wage calculation is based on the Canadian Living Wage Framework available at: www.livingwagecanada.ca

There are twenty (20) Recognized Living Wage Employers in Waterloo Region with a total of over 850 employees. The Living Wage Employer Program is open to all employers, including for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations and public employers. For more information about Living Wage Waterloo Region and the Living Wage Employer Program visit www.Livingwagewr.org.

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