Thursday, February 22, 2024

Living wage in Hamilton rises to $20.80 per hour: report

First Published:

A new report shows that the average full-time worker in Hamilton would need to earn $20.80/hr to comfortably meet their needs, up 9.2 per cent since the last calculation in 2022.

The Ontario Living Wage network published Monday the latest numbers, which factors in the cost of housing, nutritious food, child care, transportation and the opportunity to participate in community activities.

While the local living wage is not legislated, the coalition Living Wage Hamilton composed of community groups including Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton, Hamilton and District Labour Council and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction has been advocating for local businesses and organizations to implement the wage.

“By paying employees a living wage, businesses in Hamilton can contribute to the overall well-being of their workforce,” said Tom Cooper, director of Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

READ MORE: Hamilton Transit workers reject offer, will strike Thursday

“When employees can afford a decent standard of living, they experience reduced financial stress, improved mental and physical health, and increased job satisfaction. This can lead to higher employee morale and lower turnover rates, resulting in cost savings for employers,” he said.

The substantial increase seen from last year is thought to be primarily due to rent hikes and food inflation.

Members of Living Wage Hamilton presented the new calculation to Hamilton City Councillors on Monday afternoon at the General Issues Committee pre-budget meeting.

There is no word yet on whether the council will consider the living wage standard further.

WATCH MORE: Housing crisis leaves Hamilton at risk of losing young talented workers: report

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