Jump to content

      













Photo

Local wages and the cost of living


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#1 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 04:34 PM

A spin off from the Councillor salaries thread, which touched on the poorly-conceived six dollar an hour training wage.

I'll start off with this excerpt from a 100-year old article from the Victoria Daily Colonist on the topic of teacher salaries:

January 29, 1909
The committee on the revision of the teachers' salaries beg to make the following recommendations:

That the maximum salary of the principal of the High School be $2,500 a year.

That the minimum salary of men assistants in the High School be $1,200 and that an annual increase of $60 be made to that sum till a maximum of $1,620 be reached.

That the minimum salary of women assistants in the High school be $960 a year, increasing by annual increments of $60, till a maximum of $1,380 be reached.


That was probably a decent average salary in the city at the time for skilled workers. The same issue advertised half price men's suits for $12. A furnished bedroom at 1017 Burdett rented for $8 a month. A seven-room house on Stanley Ave. is offered for $3,500. A new five-room bungalow on Government Street "close to car-line" was offered for $3,600.

So I assume that the average government employee or equivalent could buy a house for about two years wages. You'd need about four years' salary today I would imagine.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:17 PM

CBC story from May 2008:

[2006 census data] The median income for couples with children — the point where half earned more and half less — rose more than 20 per cent in a generation to $82,943 in 2005. That's mainly due to the jump in the number of families where both partners worked.
[...]
Let's look at how the poorest working Canadians have been faring — those at the bottom 20 per cent of the income pyramid. Between 1980 and 2005, this group's full-time income fell by 20.6 per cent, after adjusting for inflation. The median income for this low-income group dropped from $19,367 in 1980 to $15,375 in 2005 (all figures in 2005 dollars).

For the lowest-earning families, the median income fell 9.1 per cent over the 25-year period to $14,176.

"Earnings for this group have fallen steadily since 1980," Statistics Canada noted.
[...]
For the 25- to 29-year-old set, Statistics Canada paints a picture of falling fortunes. The median earnings of young men tumbled from $43,767 in 1980 to $37,680 in 2005. For women of the same age, the median income fell by a much smaller $709 in that period to $32,104.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#3 concorde

concorde
  • Banned
  • 1,980 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Who in Victoria is offering $6/hr as a starting wage? Even McDonalds, the last time I heard, was offering around $10/hr. Most companies I've seen are paying at least $12/hr(ie non-sudent jobs).

#4 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:53 PM

From the Councillor salary thread:

Not too many kids are willing to work for $6/hour these days, the legislation notwithstanding.

My daughter got her first job at a Subway shop last year when she was 14 and her starting pay was $7.50/hr.


I think we can consider that the actual, rather than theoretical, minimum wage. I think the average starting salary for most adults in semi-skilled labour around here is $9-10 an hour, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is about $1,200 a month take-home pay.

Despite the looming economic recession I can't see wages falling much unless we also see a collapse in housing costs (unlikely).
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#5 concorde

concorde
  • Banned
  • 1,980 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 06:04 PM

That explains why the Subway I drive by everyday always has a Help Wanted sign in the window. It might as well be painted on.

Anyway, the example that has been given is for a 14 year old. How about non student type jobs, like people in their early 20's and not going to school with actual bills to pay and not living with their parents, etc. How much are they getting?

#6 victorian fan

victorian fan
  • Member
  • 1,923 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 06:42 PM

Early 60s entry level BC government female employee:

$220.00 per month (pre unionization)

Lower than the private sector.

#7 weirdie

weirdie
  • Member
  • 489 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:36 AM

That explains why the Subway I drive by everyday always has a Help Wanted sign in the window. It might as well be painted on.

Anyway, the example that has been given is for a 14 year old. How about non student type jobs, like people in their early 20's and not going to school with actual bills to pay and not living with their parents, etc. How much are they getting?



I'm 21, I live on my own, I'm not going to school, I pay bills, and work somewhere that I actually enjoy. The store that I work at doesn't have very many employees, the manager and assistant manager are the only two people who are guaranteed full time. I work as close to full time as I can get, ranging from 24 to 35 hours a week, and I still bring home on average less than $1000 a month.

Factoring in bills and other essential expenses, I'm usually left with about $150 to either put into savings or play around with a month. If I didn't live with my partner, I would have to take on another part time job or move in with my parents because it just couldn't be done.

I don't know how young people are expected to survive on their own without roomates or a partner to share the cost of living with.

#8 Caramia

Caramia
  • Member
  • 3,835 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:13 AM

That's about what most of my younger friends make too.

Welcome to Vibrant Victoria Weirdie!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#9 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 12,877 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:49 AM

I don't know how young people are expected to survive on their own without roomates or a partner to share the cost of living with.


You're not supposed to be able to. But I don't think this is anything new. When I moved here in the early nineties I had to have roommates and then a partner to cover my rent. Of course my rent was cheaper but my pay was less too.

#10 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 11,621 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:36 AM

No offense but I wouldn't expect anyone with a part time service sector job in any era to have been able to afford to live on their own and have "play money" at the end of the day.

#11 weirdie

weirdie
  • Member
  • 489 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:47 AM

No offense but I wouldn't expect anyone with a part time service sector job in any era to have been able to afford to live on their own and have "play money" at the end of the day.


I wouldn't expect anyone else to be able to either. Not with the wages that are available to people working in the service sector or, more to the point, retail. As I said, I enjoy where I work. I've had some really awful, soul crushing jobs and to work somewhere that I actually look forward to going every day is, to me, worth putting up with a lower wage. I'm just fortunate enough to be in a position where I can get by financially and still be happy where I'm working.

#12 Rob Randall

Rob Randall
  • Member
  • 10,200 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:17 PM

When I was in my early 20s (around 1990) I was working in the restaurant business here in Victoria and IIRC I was making around $9-$10 an hour--enough to take home about $1,200 a month or so. I had a one-bedroom apartment in an older building on Cook near Hillside that was under $400 a month which was pretty average. I had a used car and was able to save to go to school with a little left over to put in the bank.

A young person starting out today I'm sure would have to give up at least one: the one-bedroom, the car, the schooling or the savings.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#13 concorde

concorde
  • Banned
  • 1,980 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:58 PM

I don't know how young people are expected to survive on their own without roomates or a partner to share the cost of living with.


I'm sorry, but that hasn't changed since my generation, my fathers or even my grandfathers generation. In time, with more experience, you will get a better job and make more money.

#14 weirdie

weirdie
  • Member
  • 489 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:31 PM

I'm sorry, but that hasn't changed since my generation, my fathers or even my grandfathers generation. In time, with more experience, you will get a better job and make more money.


I didn't say anything about wanting a better job or making more money. I was just commenting on the situations that most people my age are in. I'm content with my current situation.

#15 yodsaker

yodsaker
  • Member
  • 1,280 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:42 AM

When I was in my early 20s (around 1990) I was working in the restaurant business here in Victoria and IIRC I was making around $9-$10 an hour--enough to take home about $1,200 a month or so. I had a one-bedroom apartment in an older building on Cook near Hillside that was under $400 a month which was pretty average. I had a used car and was able to save to go to school with a little left over to put in the bank.

A young person starting out today I'm sure would have to give up at least one: the one-bedroom, the car, the schooling or the savings.

Imagine, life without a car!
For too many its priority #1.

#16 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:47 AM

I'm sorry, but that hasn't changed since my generation, my fathers or even my grandfathers generation. In time, with more experience, you will get a better job and make more money.


No, I believe it has changed. Clearly it's harder now than it ever has been for young people striking out on their own. People always get better jobs as they gain experience but that wasn't the point.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 12,877 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:16 AM

I am not so sure. I would suggest that the only thing that is more difficult is home ownership.

#18 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:26 AM

^You don't believe rents have risen higher than entry-level wages over the last couple decades?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#19 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 12,877 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

No not really. Real entry level wages have gone up over 20% by my estimation since I was first paying my own way and yet I still see one bedrooms for 650 and two bedrooms for 850 to 950.

There is no reason that you cannot have a entry level job and split a two bedroom apartment with a room mate and still have cash left over at the end of the month. I would say that if anything it is easier now than before because the amount of jobs available in the service sector is so much higher. Most of my young life I was working two part time jobs to get ahead but that was only when I could find a job. There is absolutely no understanding by some people about just how difficult it was to get a job in Victoria in the 1990's I am sure in total I must have dropped off 400 resumes over a 2 year period trying to get something, anything, and I would have been willing to dishwash. Eventually it worked out and I had a great job slinging pizza then a stint at Hunters as well as many other fine establishments before eventually getting a degree and getting a job in government.

So no I think that expectations of the necessities of life have risen beyond what can be supported on a entry level wage. I didn't usually have cable tv and I didn't have a cell phone. I didn't have a car but I lived downtown or close to it so I didn't need one. Yet I still managed to have fun somehow.

#20 weirdie

weirdie
  • Member
  • 489 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:40 AM

No not really. Real entry level wages have gone up over 20% by my estimation since I was first paying my own way and yet I still see one bedrooms for 650 and two bedrooms for 850 to 950.

There is no reason that you cannot have a entry level job and split a two bedroom apartment with a room mate and still have cash left over at the end of the month.


I'd like to know where in Victoria there is a 2 bedroom apartment available for 950. Let me know! I live near the courthouse on Burdett in a bachelor for $830. I'm certain I could find cheaper and larger accommodations outside of Victoria, but since I work downtown I would end up having to shell out $73 or whatever it is these days for a bus pass or buy a car and insurance instead of walking for 15 minutes.

Pay expensive rent and save money elsewhere or pay less rent and spend more on travel.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users