More than 100,000 people in Metro Vancouver considered working poor: report

Areas with the highest working poverty rate include Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond and Coquitlam

More than 100,000 people in Metro Vancouver are working, but still living below the poverty line, according to a new study.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report Wednesday that delves into census data from 2012 on income and employment.

It found that 8.7 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents who were of working age had jobs but were still poor.

That was up from 8.4 per cent in 2006 and only slightly below the area with the highest percentage of working poor in Canada: Greater Toronto.

Some of the largest cities, including Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond and Coquitlam, have some of the highest working poverty rates, but the study found that several smaller municipalities — Greater Vancouver Electoral Area A (which includes UBC), Bowen Island and North Vancouver — had high levels as well.

The lowest rates were in Pitt Meadows (5.4 per cent), Port Moody (5.5 per cent), Delta (5.7 per cent) and Maple Ridge (5.7 per cent).

The largest increases from 2006 to 2012 were in West Vancouver (15 per cent), Coquitlam (13 per cent), White Rock (15 per cent), Lions Bay (17 per cent) and the District of North Vancouver (13 per cent).

“We are often told that the solution to poverty is for the poor to ‘get a job’ or for various sectors to create more jobs, but the reality is that having a job is not a guaranteed path out of poverty,” the report said.

It suggests poverty in B.C. arises increasingly from the low-paid, part-time and temporary jobs that have been created since the 2008 recession.

“Metro Vancouver’s booming economy relies on a large group of low-paid workers to provide security, catering, cleaning, administration and other services.”

As for solutions, the report urges the provincial government to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour, strengthen employment standards, and invest in more social housing.

Just Posted

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

Letter: Save the little forested area in Murrayville

A Langley letter writer is concerned development will mean the loss of greenspace.

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Most Read