Updated Calculation for Waterloo Region

Announcing the 2018 Living Wage Rate: $16.10 an hour

The living wage rate is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in community life. The calculation includes actual costs in local communities. So the Waterloo Region living wage rate reflects the actual cost for things like rent, food, transportation, hydro, child care, etc. in Waterloo region. The calculation also takes into account taxes and government transfers.

The Living Wage Waterloo Region calculation is based on the National Living Wage framework using a reference household of a family of four with two parents each working full-time, full-year. This new calculation reflects an increase of 68 cents from the 2017 amount of $15.42. Over the past year, there has been an increase in household expenses mainly due to a significant rise in the cost of rent in our region as well as an increase in childcare costs.

The living wage is more than just a number. It is also a practical tool for employers who want to help reduce poverty through paid work.

There are currently 44 employers registered in the living wage program in Waterloo region. The Living Wage Employer Program recognizes employers who voluntarily choose to pay their direct and indirect employees a living wage. The Living Wage Employer Program is open to all employers – businesses, non-profit organizations and public sector employers.

For more details about the 2018 calculation please click here.


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  • Gloria Cooney
    commented 2019-02-22 07:01:40 -0500
    I believe in a living wage as a minimum wage and believe a minimum wage in Ontario should be delegated per region. After reading the comments below, I am wondering if the government should create a program to help individuals bring their current wage to the level of a living wage for their region rather than providing corporate handouts.