Report: Average Rent Needed for One-Bedroom Apartment More than Double the Minimum Wage in America

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Top Tier Gear USA

While the cost of living has continued to climb since the housing bubble popped, wages have not kept pace. People are not earning more, they’re just paying more. For everything.

Case in point: a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that no one who works a full-time minimum wage job in any state in this country could reasonably afford to pay their rent when set at the “affordable” level of 30% of one’s income.

Here’s a map showing the average wage needed to comfortably afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment per each state:


The national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. According to the report, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $20.30.

In other words, an average American would need to earn more than twice the minimum wage just to comfortably afford a modest two-bedroom apartment (without spending more than a third of one’s income solely on rent). The average wage needed for a one-bedroom apartment is $16.35 an hour — still more than double the minimum wage.

What this means is that one in four American renting households, some 10.4 million, cannot even afford rent on a modest apartment. As the price of everything from food to utilities continues to rise in this country, the number of people who cannot afford to make ends meet just to basically get by is going to get bigger too.

And as the number of jobs continue to decline, it kinda makes you wonder what this country is going to look like in another decade…

“There is a fundamental mismatch between the wages people earn and the price of decent housing,” the report concluded.

Related: ‘Rent-Free’ at Home: More Than 20% of Millennials Still Living with Mom and Dad

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Contributed by Piper McGowin of The Daily Sheeple.

Piper writes for The Daily Sheeple. There’s a lot of B.S. out there. Someone has to write about it.

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  • doucyet

    • gato felix

      We are so fuked it’s not even funny!

    • Ian

      Notice the only factory footage is of China

  • Pippiagain

    Then maybe a single person making min wage should look for a 1 bedroom apartment. Or maybe they should split the rent on a two bedroom apt.. Min wage in Wa is $9.67. Say, has anyone considered that in states where mon wage is higher, the rent costs are higher? Ya think???

    • berrybestfarm
    • sunshine ✓ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ ˢᵘᵖᵖᵒʳᵗᵉʳ

      So you’re justifying this kind of gouging? OK then.

      • Gouging is corrected by market forces. An empty property is less profitable than a occupied one, regardless of the rate of pay or the cost of housing.

      • Pippiagain

        I am not trying to justify anything. Just saying if you may need to lower your expectations to a 1 bedroom if you are making min wage. Maybe even a roommate???

    • BitchSkank

      You did your math wrong regardless and you didn’t read the headline properly, let alone the article. it’s still over double even at $9.47. And I live in Wa so I know from experience that it’s almost impossible to even get a place to live here because there’s almost nothing left–we’re in a serious housing crisis. How many people are jumping at one affordable home ad? 100? 200?

      So not only is a min wage job not enough to have a one bedroom apt with a roommate sleeping in the living room, but it’s also sadly necessary that a certain amount of people remain homeless because there’s nowhere left for them to go even with money and a job.

    • Minimum wage is $7.50 in the state where I live, where almost nobody makes that little. The only exception is Subway, the only fast food place where I tip.

  • walcon

    It’s about time to blame the government for this, not to look to them for a way out. After all, you don’t look for help from someone who has gotten us into 20 trillion in debt!
    Government rules, regulations, taxes, fines, law suits and all cost people jobs, businesses money and a future. Get them off the backs of business and let the free market bring this country back.
    I wanted to hire help with my business since I am getting older, but after finding out the costs due to rules, taxes and regulations, I’ve decided not to run the risk of losing everything.

    • It is far more time to stop relying on the government for anything, blame or solution. If your cost of living exceeds your income, it is time to reconsider your standard of living or the waste of your disposable income.

  • emmanuelozon

    I know that when I got my first minimum wage job, I immediately went out looking for an apartment.

    Wait a minute, that’s wrong; I lived at home with my family.

    It was my second minimum wage job that I got an apartment.

    No, that’s wrong too; was still living with my family, as these were entry level jobs that are really only good for gaining experience and a little pocket change.

    It was my third minimum wage job that I finally was able to buy a house because the work experience I had gained from my previous minimum wage jobs proved just what my employer wanted and I gained promotions.

    Minimum wage jobs are starter jobs, kinda like the first house you buy is a starter home. You work your way up; you learn a trade, or a skill that is in demand….

    Or you can protest for a $15 minimum wage and lose any hope of getting that $15/hr because it will be cheaper in the long run for the employer to buy robots.

  • RobertFl

    I think we use to call it a “room mate”. Not just for college kids anymore.

  • Mark Adam Trotter

    Get a roomate or advance your skills. Nobody should be able to afford a 2 bedroom home if you are only capable of mopping floors or bagging groceries for 40 hours a week. (Unless, however you are mentally delayed- we have funding to assist with that at a state and federal level) I worked overnight at Jack-in-the box during school. I soon learned that to make more, i had to offer more as a worker.

  • varlog

    That’s why it’s called MINIMUM wage. And 30% of their income? That would be nice but I paid more like 50% of jobs making much more than minimum for many years, years ago. So this is nothing new, but they have to try and make a case for raising the minimum wage. And you have to have the math talents of a liberal to think that’s going to help.

  • My cost of occupancy of the vans that I have lived in (sometimes down by a river) have never increased in the 30+ years that I’ve lived in them. I’ve said it before and it is still true: it is far easier to lower one’s cost of living than to increase one’s income. The single largest improvement in my lifestyle took place by moving to a place where vandwelling is not illegal and the police actually don’t have a problem with it, aside from having to occasionally respond to some nosy citizen’s call about a suspicious vehicle. I have reduced these visits by avoiding areas where nosy people live.