Wages in Kootenay Development Region rise the highest in province: report

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
March 25th, 2024

Over the last year the median hourly wage in the Kootenay Development Region rose by over $4 per hour, and now sits well above the provincial and national rate, according to the latest State of the Basin Focus report.

Produced by Selkirk College: Selkirk Innovates — through the Columbia Basin Trust — the e-newsletter noted that the median hourly wage for all employees (full- and part-time) has trended upward in the region by 14.3 per cent between 2022 and 2023.

“This is the largest increase across all B.C. development regions, exceeding the one-year median hourly wage increases in B.C. (7.1 per cent) and Canada (6.5 per cent),” the report read.

That figure translated into an hourly wage of $32 — compared to $30 in B.C. and $28.75 in Canada — and is the highest median hourly wage in the province, with the next highest median hourly wage rate in Cariboo ($30.65), followed by Northeast and the Lower Mainland ($30), with the lowest median hourly wage rate the Thompson-Okanagan ($28.85).

The report found that full-time employees earned more per hour on average than part-time employees in the Kootenay Development Region, with full-time employees at $31.25 , while median part-time wages were 64 per cent of the full-time earnings at $20 per hour.



Living wage

Nelson has the third lowest living wage calculation out of 20 communities across B.C. that calculated their local living wage.

At $21.14, only Dawson Creek ($20.64) and Kamloops ($20.91) had a smaller living wage than Nelson.

The living wage is the hourly amount that each of two working parents with two young children must ern to meet their basic expenses, including rent, childcare, food and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account.

The calculation does not, however, include saving for future plans or debt repayment.

“No matter where they live, families should be able to afford a decent life,” the report stated.

The current B.C. minimum wage is $16.75 per hour.

Source: Selkirk Innovates



Cash in hand

The average before-tax income in the Kootenay Development Region was $53,203, according to the report’s findings, a figure that has increase over 20 per cent in the last five years.

In 2016, the average income was $43,738.

“It is important to note that government transfers and other relief programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, were still in place in 2021 and influence the income data presented,” the report read.

Within the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the electoral area with the highest average income was Area J ($58,000) with Area F not far behind ($57,000), while the lowest was Area D ($36,000).



State of the Basin Focus is a e-newsletter highlighting stories of well-being in the region.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: General