Full-time minimum wage workers can’t comfortably afford a 1-bedroom apartment anywhere in America

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The National Low-Income Housing Coalition has released a new report with a startling fact

: According to Vox, “There is no state in the union where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment for less than 30 percent of his paycheck (which is a standard measure of housing affordability).”

Vox has a full break down of the report, which tallies the number of hours minimum wage employees need to work in order to rent a one-bedroom place with 30 percent of their income. While some state averages come close to a 40-hour work week, the number is astronomical in others. Minimum wage employees in California need to work 92 hours a week to comfortably afford housing, New Yorkers need to average 98 hours, and New Jerseyans must complete a whopping 100 hours a week.

Of course these are all state averages and the reality of rental costs and city minimum wages may differ in specific areas. But across the board, increases in rental prices tend to be higher than increases in the minimum wage.

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Vox has more details and the full National Low-Income Housing Coalition report is available here.

Notable Replies

  1. Austerity apologist in 3, 2, 1...

    The line of argument may include the following.

    • This expectation that a minimum wage earner should work only 40 hours per week is nonsense.
    • If they can't afford a one bedroom apartment, they need to move down to an efficiency and double up.

    Note: the above is not an exhaustive list.

  2. Where are people getting this nutty notion that a "minimum wage" is meant to be the wages of a decent living?

    Oh yeah:

  3. Right, let's lower the expectations for everyone so we can feel better about shitting on the poor.

  4. This bears repeating. Some people seem to be offended by the idea of their garbage collector making a decent living, yet nobody wants to live in a place filled with garbage.

    If it's a job worth having someone do for you then it's a job worth paying them for.

  5. As I already noted above this is factually untrue. Maybe that's what YOU think minimum wage should be for, but the people who actually introduced minimum wage laws in the United States were very clear in their rationale for doing so and the purpose they expected those laws to serve.

    The minimum wage was meant to be a decent living wage from the very beginning. The fact that it no longer is so is due to our failure to uphold that social contract, not a failure of people on the bottom to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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