Calgary’s 2017 Living Wage$18.15, unchanged from 2015

Calgary, AB, June 28, 2017 – Vibrant Communities Calgary is pleased to be releasing the latest Living Wage rate for Calgary.  Calgary’s Living Wage Initiative adheres to the National Living Wage Framework, including calculation, and is a member of Living Wage Canada (

The framework seeks to determine what a Calgary-based family of four; two working parents with two children, ages four and seven, would need to earn to live a modest quality of life.  The seven-year old attends public school, while the four-year old attends child care full-time.  They rent a two-bedroom home.  It takes into consideration the costs of meeting basic needs (shelter, food, clothing and transportation) plus expenditures that provide the family with opportunities for social participation, minimal asset-building and unexpected expenses.  Income is accrued through employment earnings and non-employment earnings (government transfers). A Living Wage is the employment earnings portion of the calculation; the minimum amount each working parent needs to earn, working full-time, full-year, which, in addition to provincial and federal government benefits, will allow them to meet all of the expenses identified in the calculator. Participating cities do have some discretion concerning the allocated expenses, where adaptations are made based on the average experiences of residents.

The 2017 Living Wage for Calgary is $18.15.  Surprisingly, this number is identical to the 2015 Living Wage for Calgary.  This can be attributed to two key findings;

  • Total monthly expenses increased by $304.71 (from $5,259.32 in 2015 to $5,564.03 in 2017). Shelter decreased slightly by $4.00, while most other household expenses had modest increases, and
  • Non-wage income, namely government transfers, increased annually by $4,863.28 (from $5,031.10 in 2015 to $9,894.38 in 2017). Such a significant increase can be attributed to the new Canada Child Benefit.

The Living Wage is a voluntary hourly rate that has a far greater likelihood of ensuring a family can live a life out of poverty.  A Living Wage is different than the provincial minimum wage.  The minimum wage is a legislated minimum hourly rate that an employer must pay an employee, and assumes no additional taxable benefits are provided by an employer.

“The Living Wage calculator may in fact be the most accurate calculation for the cost of living in Calgary,” says Franco Savoia, Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Calgary. “This scenario of the 2017 Living Wage being identical to that in 2015 exemplifies the value of income-based public policy having real impacts on a household’s ability to live out of poverty and save for the future.”

For additional information, please visit


About Vibrant Communities Calgary
Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with various stakeholders, seeking to engage Calgarians to advocate for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty in Calgary. VCC is also the steward of Enough for All, Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. For more information, please visit and


For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Rosch
Communications and Engagement Specialist
Vibrant Communities Calgary
Phone: 403-283-2193
Email Stephanie

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment