The notion that full-time works equals a place to live is no longer valid. A two bedroom is completely out of reach for minimum wage workers, unless they want to work more than double a full workweek.
“People working minimum wage jobs full-time cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any state in the country, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report finds. In 93% of U.S. counties, the same workers can’t afford a modest one-bedroom.
The report defines affordability as the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to spend no more than 30% of their income on rent, in line with what most budgeting experts recommend. This year, workers would need to earn $24.90 per hour for a two-bedroom home and $20.40 per hour for a one-bedroom rental. That’s an increase from $23.96 and $19.56, respectively, from last year.
The average hourly worker currently earns $18.78 per hour, the report finds, more than $6 short of the wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental.
Given each state and locality’s minimum wage, the report finds that the average minimum wage worker in the U.S. would need to work nearly 97 hours per week to afford the average two-bedroom home. That’s more than two full-time jobs.”
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