What is a Living Wage?

What is a Living Wage?

Living Wages in Alberta

  • Calgary ($16.45/hr)
  • Canmore ($22.65/hr)
  • Central Alberta ($14.10/hr)
  • City of Chestermere ($16.84/hr)
  • Edmonton ($16.51/hr)
  • Grande Prairie ($17.35/hr)
  • Medicine Hat ($13.65/hr)
  • Red Deer ($13.81/hr)

Living wages vary from community to community across the province. The living wage is based on the cost of living in that community and is updated annually.

A living wage is the amount needed for a family of four with two parents, working full time to pay for basic everyday expenses including food, clothing, housing (rental), utilities, child care, transportation, minimal recreation and entertainment costs, and some small savings to cover emergencies and illnesses are weighed against government transfers like the Canada Child Benefit.

A living wage does not cover additional expenses such as saving to own a home, saving for retirement or children’s education, paying down debt, or the costs of caring for disabled, seriously ill or elderly family members.

Any community can calculate their living wage. [link to calculator]

Living Wages in Alberta

Calgary – $16.45/hr. – Vibrant Communities Calgary, 2018
Canmore – $22.65/hr. – Town of Canmore, 2017
Edmonton – $16.51/hr. – Edmonton Social Planning Council, 2019
Grande Prairie – $17.35/hr. – Living Wage Canada, 2015
Medicine Hat – $13.65/hr. – Thrive Medicine Hat, 2017
Red Deer and Central Alberta – $13.81-$14.10/hr. – Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance, 2016

Minimum Wage 2020

The minimum wage set by the provincial government is typically lower than the living wage.
$15.00 per hour
$13.00 per hour for workers under the age of 18

“I believe in paying a livable wage because I think anybody who is willing to work to the best of their abilities should be adequately compensated. I’d like to see more people being adequately compensated and not have to stretch themselves so thin.”

Lynsae Moon, The Nook Café