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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

Participating businesses will have donation boxes available for the month of October

City of Maple Ridge continues the hunt for new industrial land

Since 2014, 203 acres of industrial land has been designated for future employment needs

Fraser health sends letter warning of possible COVID exposure at Maple Ridge school

Parents of students at Yennadon Elementary were told an individual at the school has contacted virus

LETTER:

Catch much more BC Votes 2020 coverage from the Black Press Media in days and weeks to come

Langley man arrested in connection with $264,000 drug and cash bust in Grand Prairie

Police have warrants out for Christine Emes and Christopher Gilliat, also from Langley

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read