2019 Living Wage Calculation for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region

(Clayoquot Sound) The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) has released the 2019 Living Wage calculation for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region. According to the Living Wage for Families Campaign, living wage calculations for BC communities decreased significantly this year. Despite the cost of living for families increasing for rent and other basic needs, the cost of living for families with children has decreased this year thanks to BC’s new child care investments. 

The living wage is the hourly amount that each parent in a family of four must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food, and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions, and subsidies have been taken into account. 

The 2019 living wage for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region is $19.63 per hour, down from $20.11 in 2017, a decrease of 48 cents.
Since 2017, monthly family expenses have increased by approximately $300 in the region. However, the BC government’s new child care investments (Fee Reduction Initiative and Affordable Child Care Benefit) is saving our living wage family over $11,000.00 annually in child care expenses which is a 66% reduction since 2017. The living wage for our region is $2.84 less than it would have been if the Province had not made these investments into childcare. This is a win for families with children, however we know that costs remain to be high for all family types, including those without children, single people, and seniors. For these, and other family types, the living wage did not decrease this year and therefore more needs to be done to ensure these groups can also enjoy an attainable cost of living in their community.
The median monthly cost of a three bed-room rental unit in Ucluelet and Tofino is $1975. The cost of a three bed-room rental unit has increased nearly 50% since 2017. Food costs have gone up by over $42 per month since 2017, an increase of nearly 5%.

Living wage rates in many BC communities are also lower this year: Metro Vancouver ($19.50), Comox Valley ($15.28), Cranbrook ($14.38), Fraser Valley ($15.54), Greater Trail ($18.83), Greater Victoria ($19.39), Kamloops ($14.38), Nelson ($18.46), North Central Region ($14.03), Parksville-Qualicum ($15.81) and Revelstoke ($18.90). 

In 2015, the CBT published the first living wage calculation for the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region to draw attention to local affordability issues faced by families and to inspire action by local employers and all levels of government. The CBT updates the living wage every two years. 

Read the full report here.

For interviews contact:
Faye Missar, Program Coordinator at faye@clayoquotbiosphere.org or 250-725-2219