Minimum wage workers can’t afford rent

Affordability out of control

The gap between stagnant incomes and rising rents in many parts of the country is growing out of control. Renter households need to make $19.35 an hour working full time to afford a two-bedroom unit, which is $4 more than the estimated average wage of workers, an article in The Wall Street Journal said.

Rental affordability has grown as a challenge in recent years due to a number of factors, including increasing demand as more people choose to rent or are forced to because they can’t get mortgages; a relative lack of rental construction in recent years in comparison to past cycles; and stagnant wage growth.

And to make matters worse, according to the article, there is no state in the country where someone earning either the state or federal minimum wage can afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment. A minimum wage worker would need to work 86 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

San Francisco was the most expensive metropolitan area, followed closely by Stamford-Norwalk in Connecticut, where a typical two-bedroom apartment demands that income earners in the household make a combined $37.37 an hour working full-time.

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