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Living Wage Increases In Several N.B. Cities

By Tim Herd Oct 11, 2022 | 5:23 AM

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The living wage in several New Brunswick cities has increased, according to a new report from the Human Development Council.

The living wage in Saint John increased by $1.85 to $21.60, Bathurst’s increased by $1.70 to $19.20, Moncton’s rose by $2.20 to $20.85, and Fredericton’s climbed by $2.25 to $23.45.

The report outlined that a living wage is an hourly rate two working parents with two young children, aged two and seven, must earn to meet their basic expenses, including rent, childcare, food, and transportation.

However, a living wage does not include credit card or loan payments, savings for retirement, life insurance, homeownership, or costs associated with caring for a child or adult family member living with disabilities or a medical condition.

Chelsea Driscoll, a social researcher with the Human Development Council, said in an interview that this year’s increase is driven by inflation.

“It is the most significant year-over-year increase we’ve seen since we started calculating living wages back in 2018,” said Driscoll.

“The increase, depending on the city is anywhere from nine to 12 per cent, which is fairly significant, but not all that shocking given the year-over-year consumer price index with 9.1 per cent in New Brunswick.”

While researching living wages for 2022, Driscoll identified three main categories that are climbing due to inflation.

“Shelter costs, food, and transportation costs in specific gasoline are the main forces at play here,” she said.

In New Brunswick, the minimum wage increased to $13.75 as of October 1, however, with the cost of living climbing, the gap between a living wage and the minimum wage continues to widen.

“It’s the largest increase we’ve seen in 40 years, so it’s a welcomed increase. It’s a great step in the right direction,” Driscoll said of the minimum wage increase.

“But, when you see living wages as high as $23.45 in Fredericton and knowing that there’s a gap depending on where you live between the minimum wage and the living wage of anywhere from $7 to $10, it’s still quite concerning when you think of those that are earning a minimum wage.”

You can view the full report by clicking here.


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