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Penticton has highest living wage in the Okanagan

Pentictonites would have to earn $18.55/hr to cover essentials to live: Report
This is the Living Wage map made by Living Wages for Families 2021 which shows Penticton has the highest living wage in the Okanagan. But the highest in the Interior is Revelstoke at $19.51/hr. (Living Wags of Families)

A new report indicates Penticton is the most expensive to live in the Okanagan.

Working Penticton residents would have to earn $18.55 per hour to cover the essentials of food, shelter and transportation, according to the Living Wage for Families 2021 report.

The living wage is the hourly amount that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account. It does not include debt repayment or savings for future plans.

This is in comparison to Kelowna which was $18.49 per hour and Kamloops quite a bit lower at $16.71.

The current minimum wage in B.C. is $15.20.

The Living Wage just released its 2021 Living Wage Update showing that the cost of living has gone up since the last report in 2019.

“Families that grew up in poverty often have children that grow up in poverty, and these children end up living in poverty as adults themselves,” said campaign spokesperson Anastasia French. “One way to address working poverty is to ensure that families earn a living wage.”

The living wage in Metro Vancouver is $20.52, which is an increase of around five per cent since 2019.

Living Wage for Families attributes housing costs with the need for a higher living wage in parts of B.C., like Penticton.

The rate is calculated based on the cost of essentials like food, transportation, childcare and rent once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account.

An October 2021 rent report, by Zumper found the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,610 a month while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,180 a month. Childcare can cost more than $1,000 a month depending on the daycare centre. The combination of those two costs alone is more than what a person working full-time at a minimum wage job makes before deductions, roughly $2,432 a month.

READ MORE: Living wage over $3 higher than minimum wage in Kelowna: report

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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