The majority of Edmontonians who live in poverty are full-time workers earning less than $15 an hour and contrary to misconceptions, 77% of low wage earners are over the age of 20. This leads many Edmontonians to have to work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet. When parents are forced to work additional jobs they have less time to spend with their families and have decreased opportunities to be involved with their communities. Studies have also shown that increased wages can decrease employee turnover and costs of hiring and training, lower absenteeism, increased employee loyalty and productivity, improved health outcomes, decreased reliance of government programs, enhanced community pride and a healthier local economy.
The EndPovertyEdmonton task force knows that the minimum wage debate has vocal proponents on each side. We understand that the cost of poverty cannot be solely placed on small businesses. That is why we are advocating that all Edmontonians receive a livable income. This can be done through living wage policies but it also includes the provision of a guaranteed annual income. These are two tools that could be used to achieve this goal. For more information on the difference between these two options please refer to page 32 of our Strategy.
Along with advocating for livable incomes, another one of the Strategy’s priorities is to improve skills training to help people gain sustainable employment. Job readiness for those unemployed and underemployed is a priority in order for people to find work and stay in their jobs.
EndPovertyEdmonton priorities that directly relate to ‘Livable Incomes’
#10. Advocate for livable incomes for Edmontonians.
#15. Improve skills training to help people gain sustainable employment.
#20. Grow social enterprises to build sustainable livelihoods and assets.
We look forward to getting your feedback on the Priorities stated in the Strategy. Please stay tuned to the website for information on how to participate in our online survey and for the open houses being held around the city.