What happens when people can’t afford to work in Vancouver?

November 6, 2017 3:49 pm

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If a young person in Vancouver accepts a $20 an hour job, it equates to less than $2,500 per month in net take-home pay. But the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $2,090, and rising.

Little wonder that city retailers, restaurants, construction companies and some of the biggest tech companies in the world are begging for low-skill, low-pay workers and can’t find them.

In reality many people simply can’t afford to work in the most prosperous city in a province with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The disconnect is not only undermining the economy, it threatens the societal fabric of the city.

More than half of Metro workers say they are already struggling paycheque to paycheque, according to 2016 Canadian Payroll Association survey. Many of those who can’t make it number among Metro’s 3,600 homeless.

Within three years, there could be 61,500 more jobs in the province than people to fill them, according to B.C.’s most recent Labour Market Outlook.

The 2017 study also forecast that B.C. will produce one million job openings by 2025, half of these in the Lower Mainland.

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