Today Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) in collaboration with the Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN or “the Network”) has released a new living wage of $23.70 per hour for Calgary. The living wage has increased by $1.30 over last year even after federal and provincial government affordability measures were incorporated into the calculation.
The living wage is defined as the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and have a modest standard of living once government transfers have been added and taxes have been subtracted. The calculation is based on the income needs of three household types: a two-parent family with two young children; a lone-parent family with one child; and a single individual. It assumes that each adult is working full-time hours and includes savings for unexpected costs, continuing education, child care, and a small amount which allows people to participate in the community.
“This year we have faced affordability challenges like nothing I’ve seen in my career. We have more than a hundred thousand people on the brink of losing their shelter and many people making trade-offs that they never thought they would have to make. But we also saw that the government’s affordability payments made a difference – albeit temporarily. It’s time for longer-term action that will help people right now.”
- Meaghon Reid, Executive Director, Vibrant Communities Calgary
“Despite increasing costs on just about everything—particularly shelter—we did see some things that put downward pressure on the living wages. Government affordability measures and the Canada Dental Benefit have helped families. What’s missing in Alberta is any real action on increasing minimum wage despite every single other province making increases.”
- Ryan Lacanilao, Coordinator, Alberta Living Wage Network
“Our living wage commitment ensures our single parent employees don’t have to choose between paying for rent or food, our disabled employees don’t have to choose between paying for utilities or food and our younger employees don’t have to choose between paying for a winter jacket or food. Our organizational commitment allows our employees to not just survive but thrive in times of economic instability.”
- Guirlene Joseph, The Dollar Detectives
“While we're new to the Living Wage Network, we've always felt strongly that paying a living wage is a fundamental component in building mutual respect and trust with our employees. We are grateful to be able to play our small part in creating a more reasonable employment income baseline. We also believe that happy people make good beer, which is a convenient result in our line of business.”
- Brandon Hart, The Establishment Brewing Company
“By paying a living wage rate, Naiad Irrigation Systems is able to attract and retain the best employees who are motivated to work for the company. This is because employees who earn a living wage experience increased mental and physical health and economic well-being. Hiring great employees can help businesses retain or get great customers as they are more likely to provide excellent customer service and contribute to the company’s growth. Being a living wage employer is not only beneficial for the employees but also for the company’s growth and success.”
- Myles Sidorak, Naiad Irrigation Systems
- Learn more about Calgary’s living wage calculation and view the Top 5 things to know about Calgary’s 2023 living wage.
- 16 municipalities in Alberta released their living wages today. Learn more about how Calgary’s living wage compares.
- View ALWN’s common questions and answers about living wages and how employers can get certified.
About Vibrant Communities Calgary
Vibrant Communities Calgary has been working for more than a decade advocating for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty in Calgary. VCC works collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to advance the Enough for All Poverty Reduction Strategy. For more information, visit enoughforall.ca or follow us on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.
About the Alberta Living Wage Network
The Alberta Living Wage Network is a network of community organizations and municipalities with the goal of advancing a coordinated living wage movement in Alberta. The network assists communities in their annual living wage calculation and has certified more than 100 living wage employers in the province. For more information visit livingwagealberta.ca and follow @livingwageab on Twitter or Instagram.
For more information or to schedule interviews with living wage employers or experts, contact us.