The hourly wage needed for a modest standard of living has increased by $0.30
Lethbridge in collaboration with the Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN or “the
Network”) has released a new living wage of $20.60 per hour for Lethbridge. The living wage
has increased by $0.30 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.
Jaci Zalesak, Executive Director of United Way Lethbridge & South Western Alberta noted that
the living wage calculation has some good news for our community. “The living wage for 2023
had a relatively small increase over last year. Despite the rising costs which for many including
shelter, government policies helped have an impact offsetting the rising costs for families.
However the calculations highlight single individual and lone parent calculations benefited less
by the affordability measures put forward by the government.”
“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 in 2023.”
says Ryan Lacanilao, Coordinator, Alberta Living Wage Network.
“The Social Health Equity Network of Lethbridge and Area (SHENLA) encourages the City of
Lethbridge and businesses in our community to become living wage employers. Paying a living
wage assures that employees and their families can meet their basic needs with dignity and can
participate in community life. Currently, there is a gap of $5.60 per hour between the minimum
wage and a living wage in Lethbridge.” Sharon Yanicki, Spokesperson, Social Health Equity
Network of Lethbridge and Area.
As a living wage employer, Mika Nakashima, FWBA Architects understands the benefits of
paying a living wage. “We felt that participating in the program was the right thing to do – to
ensure that at the very least, we have committed to the current Living Wage instead of the
current provincial minimum wage. The value each team member brings each day is immensely
appreciated and this was the firm’s small way of showing it.”
The Alberta Living Wage is reviewed annually and announced for each participating community.
Learn more about Lethbridge’s living wage calculation.
17 municipalities in Alberta released their living wages today. Learn more about how Lethbridge’s living wage compares.
View ALWN’s common questions and answers about living wages and how employers can get