If you’re planning to move to Vancouver in Canada and raise a family there, it is vital to ensure that you have the means to support yourself and your loved ones. According to a study conducted last year, parents in Metro Vancouver need two minimum-wage jobs to successfully provide for the needs of their family.
According to a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in the city is $20.10 per hour. This basically means that two working parents with two young children must earn this much to ensure that they will be able to pay for their basic expenses, which include rent, child care, food, and transportation.
Data showed that the Metro Vancouver living wage jumped by 48 cents from $19.62 per hour recorded in the previous year. This represents an increase of 2.4%, which is much higher than the general inflation rate of 0.2% for Vancouver. Elsewhere, living wage rates have also climbed at a faster rate. Reports revealed that living wage rates in the Fraser Valley and the Capital Regional District rose to $17.02 and $18.93, respectively.
Study authors attributed the living wage increase to the rising cost of child care and shelter in the country. Child care costs reportedly rose by $48 per month, while rent costs jumped by $50 per month. Other basic items needed by a family that saw increases higher than the inflation rate were clothing and footwear (2%), MSP premiums, (4%), and non-MSP healthcare expenditures (2%).
Iglika Ivanova, an economist at CCPA and co-author of the report, explained that rising living wages in Vancouver is partly due to the local government’s failure to address issues concerning the rising prices of basic services and commodities. “Though a $20.10 hourly living wage rate may be a surprise to some, it is important to remember that this high wage rate reflects, in part, a failure of public policy to ensure affordability and a decent quality of life for all families,” she said.
According to Ivanova, one way to stop this trend is for officials to invest in universal affordable child care, more affordable rental and social housing, as well as better public transportation. This, she said, would significantly reduce the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver. For instance, implementing the $10/day Child Care Plan proposed by the Child Care Advocates of BC would reduce the Metro Vancouver living wage from $20.10 to $16.53, she pointed out.