We’re excited to announce our 2022 living wage calculations for municipalities across Alberta. 

The 2021 calculations were based on the Canadian Living Wage Framework, which specifies using a family of four in the calculations. Since the release of the 2021 numbers we received feedback that using this household type did not reflect the lived reality of a vast number of Albertans. We’ve expanded the methodology  to include lone parent and single individual households to reflect multiple situations where people may have access to different government benefits and would be affected differently by policy changes (e.g., improving child care affordability will affect each household type differently). 

The 2022 numbers are a weighted average of three household types: 1) a two-parent family with two young children, 2) a lone parent with one child and 3) a single individual living alone. 

This weighted average is the rate that an employer needs to pay to be eligible for certification. Each person’s experience is unique and the living wage is an indicator of community affordability and livability based on the best data for each community. We wanted to ensure that there wouldn’t be circumstances of employers asking for family structures or lifestyles to determine wages. 

Living wages have a goal to give people a modest standard of living and the ability to participate in their community, but the budget is basic and doesn’t provide for a lot of extras. It does, however, aim to get people and families out of financial stress by lifting them out of poverty and providing a basic level of economic security. When we speak of a living wage, we refer to wages that allow workers to not have to make a choice between paying rent and buying groceries or between skipping meals to afford medication. 


Data for the calculations were pulled from a variety of sources such as Alberta Health Services’ National Nutrition Food Basket Adapted for Alberta, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Market Information Portal, Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, and locally sourced data. To learn more about the methodology, check out How Living Wages Are Calculated.

How do employers get certified?

 We are thrilled that as of our one year anniversary on November 1, 2022 we had 75 employers across Alberta certified as a Living Wage Employer. To see which businesses have committed to paying a living wage, check out Support Living Wage Employers. We provide tools, resources and certification to Alberta businesses wishing to become living wage employers. If you want to learn more or start the certification process, check out Become a Living Wage Employer.  


Learn more about becoming a living wage employer