Media releases | June 15, 2011

EDMONTON—New Statistics Canada figures reveal that 234,200 Albertans and 77,400 Calgarians, which is equal to one out of every eight workers, earn less than $12/hour.The new statistics on low wage workers in Alberta are being released today by Public Interest Alberta, in conjunction with a presentation by Mark Chamberlain, a prominent businessman who was instrumental in the establishment of the Hamilton Poverty Reduction Strategy."I think most people believe that someone who works full time should be able to earn a living wage, yet these new statistics demonstrate how too many people are far from that reality in our city and province," says Moore-Kilgannon."The statistics break the misperception that low-wage workers are mostly teenagers living at home with their parents. When you see that 68% of employed Albertans earning less than $12/hour are over the age of 20 and that 18.2% are over the age of 45, you know that many people are struggling to put themselves through school and/or support their families.""We also see that 64% of working Albertans earning less than $12/hour are women. This is particularly challenging for single mothers who are working hard just to pay the rent and feed the kids and for many older women who are not able to save for their retirement.""Clearly the different levels of government can prevent and reduce poverty in our communities by working together with all sectors of society to implement a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy similar to what has been established by other cities and provinces across our country. Hopefully Mr Chamberlain's presentations are inspiring Albertans to see that there are many solutions that reduce the costs of poverty for us all, and that helps us to build the Alberta we need," concludes Moore-Kilgannon.The Low-Wage Statistics Fact sheet for Alberta and Calgary is available at www.pialberta.org
<http://www.pialberta.org/action-areas/human-services-poverty/resources>-30-Media Contact: Bill Moore-Kilgannon (780) 993-3736

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