How many hours must minimum wage earners work to pay their rent


In many major US cities, minimum wage workers have to work more than 50 hours a week just to pay the rent for a one-bedroom house, a recent survey conducted by United Way of the National Capital Region found.

In New York, minimum wage earners would have to work 111 hours to afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

United Way used data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition to calculate how many hours a minimum-wage worker would have to put in each week to pay rent in the 50 largest US cities.

There are only two cities on the list where a worker earning minimum wage can afford to work less than 50 hours a week: Tucson, Arizona, and Buffalo, New York.

Here’s a look at how many hours a minimum-wage worker needs to rack up to pay for a one-bedroom rental in the 10 largest U.S. cities, and the minimum wage in each respective city:

New York City

Hours required: 111

Minimum wage: $15

Los Angeles

Hours required: 84

Minimum wage: $15.96


Hours required: 112

Minimum wage: $15.40


Hours required: 104

Minimum wage: $7.25


Hours required: 65

Minimum wage: $12.80

philadelphia cream

Hours required: 110

Minimum wage: $7.25

San Antonio, TX

Hours required: 97

Minimum wage: $7.25

San Diego

Hours required: 90

Minimum wage: $15


Hours required: 120

Minimum wage: $7.25

San Jose, California

Hours required: 141

Minimum wage: $16.20

Finding affordable housing was difficult for many even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. However, the onset of the pandemic has made these issues even more acute.

“As of August 2020, up to 12 million households were at risk of losing their homes if the government did not act,” NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel told CNBC Make It. “Many were among those already struggling to pay their rent when the pandemic led to sudden job losses, reduced work hours and higher costs for health care, childcare and the internet. .”

Numerous emergency measures have been put in place to mitigate the housing crisis at the start of the pandemic. But as these temporary solutions have expired, the supply of affordable rental housing available has not kept up with demand.

Price increases affect tenants of all incomes, but especially threaten tenants with the lowest incomes.

Diane Yentel

President and CEO of NLIHC


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