Wages dropping while costs and unemployment rise in Ontario
KITCHENER-WATERLOO – New data shows that wages for Ontarians are dropping while the cost of living goes up, with full-time working women and young workers taking the hardest hit on their paycheques.
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for July, the median weekly wage in Ontario was down $15.20 compared to the month before, a decline nearly double the decline seen nationally.
Hardest hit were young workers, whose median weekly wages were cut $40 per week in July; and full-time working women, whose median weekly wages were down $24.80 compared to a month earlier.
“It’s harder to get by under the Wynne Liberals,” said NDP Employment critic Catherine Fife. “Costs like hydro bills have been rising fast, but people’s wages are lagging. That’s leaving families feeling squeezed.”
“Wynne doesn’t get what everyday families are dealing with – like bills that are getting harder and harder to pay while workers face stagnant or dropping wages and less stability at work,” said Fife. “Too many families are at a tipping point. We can’t let Wynne do any more damage.
“And the Conservative leader is certainly not the answer – he actually wants to keep minimum wage low. For his nine years as an MP in the Harper government, he voted against workers’ interests, and he’s still doing it by opposing wage increases.”
The NDP and Leader Andrea Horwath began pushing for a $15 minimum wage in April 2016, and are fighting for better working conditions for all workers. The NDP has committed to fight to improve proposed labour-law changes this year, as well as to create the first universal pharmacare plan – one that would give every Ontarian prescription drug coverage, regardless of age, job status or income.
Regions that have lost jobs over the last 12 months include Brantford (down 2,200 jobs), Windsor (down 6,700 jobs) and Sudbury (down 400 jobs).