The living wage is the hourly rate that ensures that a person working full time, full year, earns enough to participate in the normal life of their community. In Halton the rate has been calculated to be $20.75 per hour (2021).
CDH works in close partnership with the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) and since we last made calculations in 2019, new policies that provide support to families with children have been introduced by the provincial government. Combined with changing family demographics, it has become clear that expenses for a reference family of four is no longer the most representative for living wage calculations in Ontario.
New supports for families with children meant that living wage calculations were coming back with reductions over the 2019 rates. Yet we all know the cost of living has not gone down. Inflation has quadrupled since the beginning of 2019 and is at a 18-year high. Our calculation was no longer reflecting reality.
The 2021 calculations take into account a weighted average between a family of four, single parent with one child and a single adult.
Because of this change in the calculation process we are not able to easily compare calculations from 2019 to those updated this year. In some communities, living wage rates have remained close to previous calculations while other rates have increased more dramatically. The 2021 living wage rates reflect changing demographics in our province and increases in inflation. We believe they accurately reflect the realities of costs in Ontario.