Media releases | June 12, 2012


Low-Wage Workers Must Be Included in Alberta Poverty Reduction Plan

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta and the Alberta College of Social Workers released new data today from Statistics Canada. The data shows that 418,900 (close to one in four) employed Albertans make less than $15/hour.The new data also shows that the vast majority (77.9%) of low-wage workers are in their prime earning years, not just teenagers living at home. In fact 35.6% of low-wage workers are between 25 and 45 years of age, and 25.6% are older than 45 years of age.“Too many Albertans are working hard, but are still unable to earn a living wage,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “As the government develops their comprehensive plan to eliminate child poverty in five years, it is imperative that they recognize that low-wages negatively impact the health of our communities and economy.”“These statistics reveal that women make up over 60% of Albertans living on low wages,” said Lori Sigurdson, Professional Affairs Coordinator for the Alberta College of Social Workers. “Women in Alberta are working hard to support their families and yet, sadly, the hurdles to their success are much higher than those experienced by men. These indicators clearly show that women experience systemic discrimination. The government’s new Social Policy Framework must include strategies to eliminate these inequities.”Specific data is available for each of the 7 major Alberta cities: Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Detailed fact sheets on each city are available here.The data was purchased from Statistics Canada and is based on the number of employed Albertans in each category for the calendar year ending March 31, 2012.-30-Media Contacts:Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta - 780-993-3736Public Interest Alberta’s Community Mobilizers are available for interviews in the following cities:
  • Calgary – Julie Hrdlicka - 403-650-0803 (cell)
  • Grande Prairie – Heather Haiste - 780-978-4541 (cell)
  • Lethbridge – Lorinda Peel - 403-894-5692 (cell)
  • Medicine Hat – Alison Van Dyke -403-548-2829
  • Red Deer – Steven Merredew- 403-597-0368 (cell)
To download the fact sheet on each municipality, click on the links below.CalgaryGrande PrairieEdmontonLethbridgeMedicine HatRed DeerWood Buffalo