Working For A Living Wage Calculation Guide


The purpose of this guide is to assist others to calculate a living wage for their communities, using the method developed by the CCPA and First Call to calculate Vancouver and Victoria living wages in 2008. It updates the guide provided in 2010 in order to calculate a living wage for 2011. It will be most useful for the calculation of the living wage in communities in BC. The method can be applied in other provinces and territories; however, the government transfer and tax information would need to be adjusted accordingly.

This guide serves as an updated technical appendix to a public report that promotes the concept of a living wage and the arguments in favour of its adoption by employers: Working for a Living Wage 2008: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Vancouver and Victoria (released in September 2008 by CCPA–BC, First Call, and the Victoria Community Council). Working for a Living Wage 2008 presented the amounts of the living wages (using data as of the end of 2007) for Vancouver and Victoria and summarizes the assumptions in the calculation, the formula that calculates the living wage, and how the family expenses were calculated. Both the full report and a short summary can be downloaded at A short summary of the updated 2011 living wage calculations can be downloaded at 

Publication date: 
Mar 2011
Iglika Ivanova, Seth Klein
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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