We are now close to passing through 250 certified living wage employers in Ontario. Once there, there will be over 8,061 full-time, part-time, contract, and trainee/practicum workers earning at least a current living wage. More than 1,000 of them will have seen a pay raise because their employer achieved certification with us. Our goal is to see these numbers mushroom by at least an order of magnitude over the next few years.
While looking back at our progress over the years, we were curious about the composition of living wage employers by industry/service area. This led to some pie-charting:
One thing that struck me is the variety of sectors that make up the 60 percent of the pie after the larger single slices. It is encouraging to see. As we work towards a day when consumers and businesses alike can seek out and support other living wage employers, we'll need this kind of diversity.
From your morning coffee and fill-up at the gas station to your catered lunch meeting. From your banking and payroll services to your night-shift cleaning service...all living wage employers.
In case you're curious, the "other" slice–the second largest at 33%–is composed of emerging living wage sectors with under 4 employers. Employers like local chambers of commerce, municipalities, and agricultural businesses; we look forward to certifying more just like them.
Then there are some sectors, like the the cannabis industry, that didn't even exist when we first started in 2012. One wonders what story this chart will tell in another 7 years. I guess I'll have to wait for my September 2026 Living Wage Update Hologram to find out.
Poverty Program Coordinator & OLWN Chair
Mennonite Central Committee Ontario
In this update: MEDIA COVERAGE | FEATURED EMPLOYER | LIVING WAGE WEEK 2019
A local group in London that includes certified living wage employer Libro Credit Union called the Inclusive Economy Working Group has begun studying ways to create well paying jobs that keep more money in the city — and spread it around. Among their priorities: "Understand and advocate for a living wage in London. What is the wage that families can live on in the city and how do we encourage employers to think about that?” https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/london-effort-to-create-better-jobs-equitable-economy-ready-for-unveiling. The event mentioned in the article was at capacity...promising.
Each month we'll showcase a different living wage employer. This month it’s Muskoka Brewery, the first certified living wage brewer in Canada. From their website:
In 2016, Muskoka Brewery became Canada’s first Living Wage-certified brewery. Different from the minimum wage, living wage is based on the principle that full-time work should provide families with a basic level of economic security above the poverty line; to be able to live healthier lives and be active in the community. When you break it down, it means employees at the Brewery can eat healthier options, their children can participate in local activities and go on school trips, and that younger employees can pay off student debt.
Look for Muskoka products on shelves where you buy your beer:
LIVING WAGE WEEK 2019
In keeping with a practice shared with the UK and elsewhere, we will celebrate Living Wage Week in Ontario on the first week of November. On the first Monday we will be releasing the new and updated living wage rates. We'll also be announcing a new way to find certified living wage employers in your area and by sector, one of our most requested features.
And as usual, we'll be taking extra time to showcase living wage employers old and new. We'll also be breaking our regimented email schedule to send you a special bulletin announcing the new rates and more.