Wal-Mart, Target, and a host of other companies have recently announced that they’ll be increasing the starting hourly rates of many employees, which is still below a $15-an-hour minimum wage that some have suggested. In the absence of any major changes to the federal minimum wage ($7.25), a lot of cities, counties and states have started enacting their own laws.
We decided to take a look at our data — gathered from actual current rent payments, not vacant apartments or listings that have been readjusted to the market rate — to see how affordable rentals are in major cities across the United States, based on current minimum wage laws. Spoiler: it’s grim, and even one-bedrooms are out of reach in many metro areas for even a couple earning two incomes.
There are only 168 hours in a week, meaning that, in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, it’s actually impossible to earn the local minimum wage and still afford a one-bedroom apartment - unless you have as many as five people living in a 1 bedroom space. That reality isn’t limited to only big cities, though. Have a look:
You can also download the PDF here: Rent and Minimum Wage
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