I KEEP SEEING PEOPLE CIRCULATING THIS DUMB STUDY ON FACEBOOK, BUT WHEN WAS THE MINIMUM WAGE EVER ADVERTISED AS LETTING ONE PERSON RENT A TWO-BEDROOM APARTMENT? Minimum wage doesn’t cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.
A minimum-wage worker would have to put in lots of overtime to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country. And downsizing to a one-bedroom pad barely helps.
Even with some states hiking pay for those earning the least, there is still nowhere in the country where a person working a full-time minimum wage job can afford to rent a decent two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Evenwould not be enough to make housing affordable in the overwhelming majority of states, the coalition found. Nationally, someone would need to make $17.90 an hour to rent a modest one-bedroom or $22.10 an hour to cover a two-bedroom place.
Renters across the country earn an average hourly rate of $16.88, the report estimated, a finding that illustrates how even folks earning more than the minimum wage scramble to pay for housing.
The findings are based on the standard budgeting concept of not spending more than 30 percent of one’s income on housing.
The nation’s costliest housing is in Hawaii, where one would need to earn $36.13, or roughly $75,000 a year, to be able to rent a modest two-bedroom. The state’s minimum wage increased to $10.10 an hour this year.
The cheapest housing in the U.S. can be found in Arkansas, where the minimum wage is $8.50 an hour. Yet one would have to make $13.84 an hour, or roughly $29,000 a year, to afford a two-bedroom apartment.