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How Difficult Is It to Afford a Home While Earning Minimum Wage?

Anyone looking for work in America can expect to get paid at least $7.25 USD an hour, but finding a place to live on that wage is far from straightforward. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the average one-bedroom apartment in the United States is out of reach for minimum-wage earners. The NLIHC estimates that an American worker needs to earn an average of $17.90 USD an hour to afford a modest home, meaning that a minimum-wage earner would need to hold not only a second job but earn another $3.40 USD an hour on top of that. According to the NLIHC's annual report, there are only 22 counties across five states --Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington -- in which someone making minimum wage can afford an apartment at fair market rent. That's at least in part because those states pay higher wages than the federally-mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour. The NLIHC's findings are based on the common rule of thumb that housing should not eat up more than 30 percent of one's wages.

Working at a minimum:

  • Since it was established in 2009, the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has lost nearly 10 percent of its purchasing power.

  • As of 2019, the District of Columbia pays the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $11.50 an hour.

  • The average age of someone earning minimum wage is 36. Thirty-seven percent of minimum-wage earners are at least 40 years old.

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anon1001847
Post 2

Minimum wage has never been meant to be anyone's career. Minimum wage is what a high school gets for learning office skills in their weekend job, or after school part time job. The new rising minimum wage is causing kids to remain unemployed, unskilled and poor employees due to their lack of working in places that do not require substantial skill. Minimum wage again, was never intended to support a household, as adults who want to work, apply themselves and become more educated. Raising the minimum wage will merely make for fewer jobs due to the expense thereof.

anon1001845
Post 1

Sobering news.

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