WELLINGTON COUNTY – The living wage necessary to meet minimum living expenses has risen by 7.7 per cent from $18.10 per hour in 2021 to $19.95 per hour in 2022, according to the Guelph-Wellington Poverty Elimination Task Force (GWPETF).
The minimum wage employers in Ontario must pay employees is currently set at $15.50 per hour.
GWPETF released the updated number on Nov. 14, in collaboration with the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN).
Expenses such as shelter, utilities, clothing, food, childcare, and transportation are factored into the yearly calculation.
“With record breaking inflation, workers across the province, including in Guelph-Wellington, are struggling to make ends meet more and more,” states a Nov. 14 GWPETF press release.
Of the $19.95 hourly rate required to meet minimum expenses:
– 42.5% goes to shelter;
– 28.2% to internet and mobile connectivity, clothing and medical expenses;
– 12.2% to food;
– 11.2% to transportation; and
– 5.9% to child care.
“Paying a living wage must be an integral part of responding to the affordability crisis that workers are facing across Ontario,” OLWN communications coordinator Craig Pickthorne stated.
“Paying poverty wages is corrosive not only to the individual worker and their families, but to workplace health and productivity as well.”
Living wages range this year from $18.05 per hour in London, Elgin and Oxford to $23.15 per hour in the GTA.
Increases across 10 economic regions in the province (Guelph-Wellington now includes Dufferin) “emerge from a backdrop of record–breaking inflation and Consumer Price Index increases,” states OLWN’s 2022 Calculating Ontario’s Living Wages document.
The living wage in Guelph-Wellington has increased by 21% since 2015, when the living wage was deemed to be $16.50 per hour.
To learn more about the OLWN’s calculation methodology visit ontariolivingwage.ca.