This is sobering news. According to a new report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, it would be impossible for a full-time, minimum-wage worker to afford the rent of a one-bedroom apartment in any state in America.
The gap between wages and rents across the country is incredible. “In no state or D.C. can a full-time minimum-wage earning worker at the federal minimum wage afford a one- or two-bedroom apartment for his or her family,” reports Raw Story.
The national average housing wage in 2015 is $19.35 for a two-bedroom unit and $15.50 for a one-bedroom apartment. And in 13 states and D.C. the housing wage is more than $20 per hour. But the federal minimum wage is still only $7.25 per hour and hasn’t increased since 2009. The math for a low-wage worker doesn’t add up to the rent on a one-bedroom.
And even in some states where the minimum wage has been raised, there is still a big gap. For example, in San Francisco, the state and local minimum wages are $9 and $12.25, respectively. But the Housing Wages for a one- and a two-bedroom apartment are $31.44 and $39.65, respectively.
There are states where low-wage workers would have to work a lot more than 40 hours to afford a one-bedroom. These include: Hawaii (125 hours), Maryland (101 hrs.), DC (100), New Jersey (100) and California (92).
There are just a few counties in Washington and Oregon (where the state minimum wage is $9.47 and $9.25, respectively) where a low-wage worker can rent a one-bedroom apartment.
Due to the gap between wages and rent, many employees are moving further away from the location of their job. According to a Brookings Institution report, an average resident of a U.S. metro area lives 90 minutes or less away from only 30 percent of the jobs in that area.