County Pegs Living Wage at $18 an Hour

County Tallies Annual Living Expenses at Just over $73,500

You’d have to earn $18 an hour to be able to afford to live in Simcoe County, according to a calculation of family expenses from across the region.

Including food, rent, health insurance, and other so-called “basket items”, it would cost an average family of four $73,545 a year to live in Simcoe County, and just less than two hundred dollars more to live in Barrie.

The biggest ticket item on this list is child care, at an average annual cost of just over $16,300. Those behind the calculations assumed the cost of 251 days of full-day childcare for a 3-year-old child, and 187 days of before- and after-school care for a seven-year-old, along with 50 days of summer care.

The amount comes as part of a regular examination of the cost of living for a family of four around the county, and breaks down costs by the the six sub-regions within Simcoe County.

According to the report presented to County Council today, a living wage is “the hourly wage a worker requires to cover basic expenses and to participate in community.” The first living wage calculation took place in 2017 as part of a poverty-reduction project; in 2017, the living wage calculation for Simcoe County was $17.74.

The living wage is based on the annual expenses of a family of four with both adults working full‐time for 35 hours a week while one parent attends part‐time courses. The numbers also account for two children, with one child in before- and after-school care, and another in full‐time childcare.

banner image via Pixabay