Lethbridge’s living wage rises to $20.30/hour: 2022 report

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Living wage jumps to $20.30 in Lethbridge: report
Alberta Living Wage has released its annual report, showing what hourly wage is needed for workers to make ends meet and be active community members. As Eloise Therien explains, they’re simply hoping to shed light on affordability and livability in the province. – Nov 14, 2022

A new report has found minimum wage –and then some — just isn’t cutting it for Alberta workers.

The Alberta Living Wage Network, a collection of community organizations and municipalities, has released its 2022 living wage numbers in 15 towns and cities across the province.

The numbers look to shed a light on what hourly wage is needed to cover basic expenses while still allowing individuals to participate in their communities.

“When you’re being paid an Alberta living wage, it’s easier to contribute to your community, it’s easier to help your family for sure,” said executive director of United Way of Lethbridge & South Western Alberta Jaci Zalesak.

The calculated living wages are as follows:

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  • Canmore: $32.75
  • Fort McMurray: $22.50
  • Calgary: $22.40
  • St. Albert: $22.40
  • Cochrane: $22.35
  • Rocky Mountain House: $21.85
  • Edmonton: $21.40
  • Drumheller: $21.20
  • Spruce Grove: $20.70
  • Stony Plain: $20.40
  • Lethbridge: $20.30
  • Drayton Valley: $19.65
  • Red Deer: $19.65
  • Grand Prairie: $19.65
  • Medicine Hat: $17.50
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The 2022 wages are determined based on three different family types: two parent and two children, one parent and one child and individual.

In 2021, the numbers were based on the four-person family only.

Ryan Lacanilao, coordinator with the Alberta Living Wage Network, said this could be a reason why the numbers saw an increase in most jurisdictions over last year.

Lethbridge’s rose from $19/hr to $20.30/hr.

“One reason is because of the record inflation rates that we’ve been seeing,” he explained. “Another is that in changing the scope to include more people, we now saw that there are certain policies that affect the family of four, but not so much the single individual, for example.”

Click to play video: 'Inflation posing challenges for self-care businesses in Lethbridge'
Inflation posing challenges for self-care businesses in Lethbridge

According to Lacanilao, 80 employers in Alberta are currently certified living wage employers, meaning they have committed to paying staff the living wage in their community.

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Of those, 16 are non-profits.

“We have four cleaning companies… we have seven retail businesses,” he said. “We have some in food service, grocery, home care, dog training.

“There probably are several employers that are actually paying the Alberta living wage employee rate, but to become a certified living wage employer you do have to go through a process to become that,” explained Zalesak.

Lethbridge is the only community where all locally-based certified living wage employers are non-profit organizations. Those include the Lethbridge Food Bank, Interfaith Food Bank, Volunteer Lethbridge and United Way.

Lafarge is a certified living wage employer in British Columbia and Alberta.

Current living wage employers have 12 months to implement the 2022 rates to retain their certification.

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