Is your pay keeping pace with inflation, or are you falling behind? If the value of your wages doesn’t increase faster than the cost of living, the purchasing power of your pay, known as “real wages,” hasn’t grown.

This tool lets you calculate the value of your real wage or salary, after adjusting for changes in consumer prices.

The calculator uses the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a measure of inflation for different locations in Canada. The CPI is the most widely used measure of inflation in Canada, but it is not a perfect measure and many people will face quite different changes in their cost of living. One way to address this is by bargaining cost of living adjustments or allowances (COLA).

These calculations use Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a measure of changes in the cost of living. Detailed monthly CPI data (and much else) are provided by Statistics Canada for free and are available through their website. Source: Statistics Canada, Consumer Price Index, Table 18-10-0004-01.

Please note this tool only deals with the dollar value of your wages. It doesn't factor in the changing value of workplace benefits. It also does not account for changing tax rates or factor in the value of public services, which contribute significantly to the well-being and standard of living for households.