by Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on Thursday November 17 2022
The wage people need to live in Nelson has gone up and remains one of the highest in the West Kootenay-Boundary region, according to a report released by Living Wage Update Thursday morning.
The living wage in Nelson is now $20.83 — a rise of six per cent in the last year — and represents a calculation on the hourly wage that two parents working full-time need to earn to support a family of four.
The increase is driven by two essentials that every family needs — food and shelter — and has gone up all across B.C., not just in Nelson, the Living Wage for Families B.C. press release noted.
General inflation shot up to a 40-year high this year and the costs of food and other necessities also increased, noted the authors of the report.
The wage in Nelson “affords a decent if still very modest standard of living without the extras many of us take for granted,” the report noted.
In Trail — the highest cost in the Kootenay-Boundary — the new living wage calculation is $21.13 an hour for 2022, up 16 per cent over last year, while in Castlegar the living wage is $20.54 (this is Castlegar’s first year calculating a living wage). In Grand Forks, the 2022 living wage calculation is $20.05, a 17 per cent increase.
Looking further afield, Kelowna’s living wage rose by 23.7 per cent — a $4.39 jump — to $22.88, while in the provincial capital Victoria the wage climbed 18.7 per cent higher than last year’s $20.46 to $24.29, and in Metro Vancouver a 17.3 per cent increase translated into a $24.08 living wage.
Rates were calculated in 22 communities this year, with the community of Daajing Giids — a village municipality in Hadia Gwaii — the highest at $25.87, followed close behind by Golden at $25.56.