The number of working poor people in Burlington is lower than Milton and Halton

graphic community 5By Staff

June 1st, 2021



Work or employment is commonly understood as a means for individuals to have a decent living.

With the impact of COVID-19 over the past year, there were substantial changes in both employment and earnings, leading to precarious work for individuals and their families.1 Many of those individuals may become the working poor and how we as community ensure that all members of our community are included in the recovery process is critical.

worling poor CDH

As shown in the chart below, Oakville and Milton are above the Halton average, while Burlington and Halton Hills are below.

As with poverty, there are many ways to define working poor. Using Statistics Canada’s tax filer information set as the data source,2 working poor3 is defined as individuals with an after-tax income below the Low Income Measure (LIM-AT) and earning an annual working income4 of over $3,000.

The income threshold of $3,000 reflects the federal government’s Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) refundable tax credit intended to provide tax relief for eligible working low-income individuals and families who are already in the workforce and to encourage other Canadians to enter the workforce.

Using the most currently available data, in 2018 a working poor person earned more than $3,000 but less than $24,654 (LIM-AT for a single adult).

working poor photoIn 2018, there were over 444,000 working poor individuals in Ontario. They represented about 6.6% of the population (18-64 years) excluding full-time students living on their own. By comparison, in Halton Region, the working poor population was over 12,000 accounting for 4.5% of the working age population.

The data was provided by Community Development Halton.

1 COVID Economic and Social Effects Study (CESES), McMaster University, 2021. impact
2 Grouping of postal codes were provided to Statistics Canada and Statistics Canada makes no representation or warranty as to, or validation of, the accuracy of any Postal Code OM data

3 A similar definition is used in Metcalf Foundation, The Working Poor in the Toronto Region, mapping working poverty in Canada’s richest city by John Stapleton, April 2015
4 Working income is the total amount of an individual’s income for the year from employment and business, excluding losses.

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