Minimum-Wage Workers Would Need To Log 104 Hours a Week to Reasonably Afford a Two-Bedroom Rental, Report Says

There is no U.S. state, metropolitan area or county where a minimum-wage worker clocking 40 hours a week could reasonably afford a “modest two-bedroom rental home” with an average fair-market rent of $1,486, according to a report out Wednesday from an affordable-housing advocacy group.

That’s true whether the worker makes the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or a higher city- or state-based minimum wage of $15 or more, the National Low Income Housing Coalition said in an annual report on unaffordable rental prices for low-income households.

Even when accounting for those states and cities where the minimum wage exceeds the federal standard, the average minimum-wage worker still needs to log a whopping 104 hours a week—spending basically all of their waking hours at work, pausing only to sleep and eat quick meals—to reasonably afford a two-bedroom home without devoting too much of their income to rent. There are 168 hours in a week. 

Minimum-wage workers have to clock 86 hours a week for a smaller one-bedroom place, as only 7% of counties nationwide, not including Puerto Rico, have housing cheap enough for a full-time minimum-wage worker to afford, according to the report.



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