Could you afford rent on a minimum wage salary?

Evan Rodd, PayScale

“Should we raise the federal minimum wage, and if so, how high?” This has been a popular topic of conversation in recent months, especially as wages and profits are beginning to increase across various industries.

A recent post on UpWorthy by the National Low Income Housing Coalition outlined how many hours one would need to work in each US state in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. Even in states where the minimum wage exceeds the federal minimum wage, it seems the average workweek would have to be around 80 hours, with some states going well over 100. In California, one would have to work 129 minimum wage hours per week to afford rent, and in New York it’s 139 hours. It seems in these states, even earning double the minimum wage won’t let you have a 40 hour workweek.

What do you think, should we raise the federal minimum wage?

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4 Comments on "Could you afford rent on a minimum wage salary?"

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Dorothy Freeman

We desperately need to improve the situation of the minimum wage earner.  We also need a shift in business management to caring about employees being able to reach middle class living standards (growing the middle class again in America).  The benefits of the hard work of all employees are being horded by the company elite, top management.  


Ditto Dorothy . . . see Wall Street Journal’s article on the Standard & Poor’s report of stagnating growth if the “rich get richer” and the middle class sinks. When the middle class fails, so goes the country. Why people don’t see that or want to believe it is beyond me.

Cindy Ross

Wow!!! Why hasn’t this topic been more widely talked about? That really make one think about all those wage earners who will never afford even a basic place to live let alone a house. No wonder the housing and banking industries are in such a mess. WE MUST START TALKING ABOUT INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE IMMEDIATELY!

Just Say'n
First of all, why would anyone want to work for minimum wage? I completely understand that the fast-food industry and mall retail (ones not solely based on commission) need people to do the labor. They are definitely not positions where skilled-labor is necessary whereas management and technical positions oftentimes require skilled training & practice and basic, intermediate or advanced knowledge that is logic- or theory-based. Students especially cannot live on a minimum wage salary. If you’re lucky, you can live at your parent’s home until the day comes and you have earned your degree or have progressed in some area… Read more »