British Columbia’s minimum wage will see a steady increase in the coming years, ultimately reaching $15.20 per hour in 2021. In the meantime, however, the estimated living wage is $20.50. (Black Press file photo)

Reader Response: Victoria’s wages not meeting general needs

Victoria was recently ranked as one of the worst cities in B.C. to work in due to low average income

Victoria was recently ranked as one of the worst places to work in B.C., and Black Press readers have been chatting.

In a report put together by B.C. Business, Victoria ranked in 36th place out of 46 cities. This was a sharp drop from its seventh place standing in 2017, in large part due to the methodology the report took in ranking.

Previously, Victoria was ranked in with other Capital Region municipalities, and this year it’s been separated so more affluent neighbourhoods, like Oak Bay, wouldn’t skew the numbers.

READ MORE: Victoria ranked as one of B.C.’s worst cities to work in

The other driving factor in the dive is a low average income, especially for people aged 35 and under.

The minimum wage for general jobs in B.C. as of June 1, 2018 is $12.65 per hour. For liquor servers, this drops to $11.40 per hour.

Both of these wages are leaps away from the estimated living wage, which the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria calculated to be $20.50 per hour in 2018.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

With this living wage, a family of two full time working adults and two children would be able to rent a home and pay basic costs, but only save $6.18 per year.

According to data from Payscale.com, the average hourly rate in Victoria is $19 per hour, compared to Statistic Canada’s 2017 provincial average of $25.71.

Black Press readers mostly responded on social media outlets with comments saying they were “not surprised,” by the low wages, and some noted differences in national averages, citing Ontario’s minimum wage of $14.

Story commentors also said they saw the trend.

“So true, high living cost and low average income. Business is greedy in here … price is top, service is average or below, wage is low as possible,” said Jinde Lan.

The next wage increase in the province is scheduled for June 1, 2019, where general wages will be $13.85 per hour, and liquor servers will be $12.70 per hour.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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