Whistler’s 2019 Living Wage for families is $0.67/ hour lower per parent than 2018 (based on a 35 hour work week). Although the cost of living increased by 3% in 2019, new child care investments introduced by the BC Government allowed the Living Wage family to increase their income received through government transfers by 57% over 2018, ultimately lowering the Living Wage.
The changes from 2014 to 2015 are as a result of the adoption of the Canadian National Living Wage Framework which included higher living costs. A brief explanation for this change is described below.
* Results in the 2017 Living Wage Report were updated in 2019 as displayed in the chart above to reflect new data collected on Whistler’s market rental rates.
Affordability for residents challenges the community in many ways, from community quality of life to the resort’s economic viability. It is important that community members are able to afford the basic lifestyle that enticed them to live in Whistler and that businesses are able to attract a strong local workforce. The affordability situation for a family can be measured by tracking the hourly income required to afford the basic cost of living in Whistler.
This indicator reflects the cost of living in Whistler by pricing the cost of a basic basket of goods (such as housing, transportation, food, and clothing) and determining the gross hourly full-time income required per parent/caregiver for a family (two adults, two children of 4 and 7) to afford those items. As of 2015 the Living Wage is based on the Living Wage Canada methodology which provides the ability to compare Whistler’s results to other communities. Prior to 2015 the Whistler Living Wage was based on a similar methodology that was developed specifically for Whistler in 2005 when no standardized Canadian approach was available. The main difference between the previous methodology and the current approach is related to the age of the children included in the modelling, as well as increased costs of the associated childcare needs.
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