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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Spending $500K on policing transition during pandemic a ‘waste,’ Surrey council hears

City council on a five-to-four vote authorized $500K for Surrey Police Department IT upgrades

Out On Patrol non-profit launched by LGBTQ2S+ law enforcement members in B.C.

Surrey-based RCMP officer among board members of new organization

Surrey restaurants to benefit from city’s patio plan

Pilot program will permit the use of temporary outdoor areas. It’s meant to be enacted fast, for the summer months

Humbled by hit song ‘Pillow Talkin,’ Surrey musician aims to build on humanitarian work

‘People are still trying to figure out who the heck I am,’ Tyler Joe Miller says

White Rock set to reopen promenade, increase waterfront parking

Existing fencing to be left in place in case restrictions need to be reimposed

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read