Kingston’s living wage rises with rest of province

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The Ontario Living Wage Network has released its annual assessment of living wage requirements across the province.

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The report divides the province into 10 regions and looks at a number of cost-of-living categories to determine how much a person needs to earn to cover basic daily expenses. All regions saw an increase in the living wage requirement in 2022.

Based on those calculations, Kingston’s living wage — found in the organization’s east region — is $19.05 an hour, compared to $17.57, which was calculated for Kingston in 2019, before the regional reorganization of the network.

“A Living Wage is calculated by the OLWN to show how much a worker needs to earn per hour to make ends meet and enjoy modest participation in the civic and cultural community,” a statement from the network said.

Expenses examined include food, housing, clothing, transportation, adult education, medical, child care and other expenses.

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“The calculations combine the expenses of three types of households: two adults raising two young children; a single parent; and only one adult,” the statement read. “The results are then aggregated and include all applicable government taxes, transfers and benefits.”

Kingston in the East Region sits in the middle of the list, with the calculated Greater Toronto Area living wage at the top of the list at $23.15 and the London Elgin Oxford area at the bottom of the list at 18 $.05.

Kingston has 17 Network Certified Living Wage Employers. Ontario’s current minimum wage is $15.50 per hour.

“Paying a living wage must be an integral part of addressing the affordability crisis facing workers across Ontario,” Network Communications Coordinator Craig Pickthorne said in a written statement. “There are over 500 Certified Living Wage employers who recognize that their employees are integral to the success of their organization. Paying poverty wages is corrosive not only to the individual worker and their family, but also to workplace health and productivity.

To read the full report, visit livingsalaryontario.ca.

Michael A. Bynum