Yellowknife's 'living wage' is around $20 an hour, says report

Workers in Yellowknife would need to be paid about $20 an hour full-time to cover basic living expenses, according to an Alberta-based consultant.

Single parents would need to earn about $25/hour to get by, social justice coalition says

Workers in Yellowknife would need to be paid about $20 an hour to earn a "living wage," according to an Alberta-based consultant.

Michel Haener wrote a report for Alternatives North, a Yellowknife-based social justice coalition.

She says for a two-parent family living in Yellowknife with one child in school and one in daycare, each parent would need to have a full-time job paying $20.68 per hour to earn a living wage. That works out to an annual gross household income of $86,029.

The living wage for a single adult would be $19.91, and for a lone parent it would be $25.81.

The minimum wage in the Northwest Territories is $12.50.

Haener says the calculation of expenses was based on basic, cost-of-living expenditures.

"We allocated money for shelter, child care and food, but also for other essentials such as a phone and a small budget for recreation and gifts," says Haener.

"The budget is very modest."

Alternatives North says the benefits of a living wage are improved staff retention, productivity, and goodwill in the community.

Not all experts agree. A 2014 report by the Fraser Institute said mandating a wage above the prevailing market rate means "fewer jobs and hours become available and it is usually the people who are less skilled who are most adversely affected."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?