Hours at Minimum Wage Needed to Afford Rent

By | March 22, 2012

The following map has been floating around the cloud for at least a week or so now and I’m so disgusted by what it shows that I just had to share it here. It lists, on a state-by-state basis, how many hours a week you need to work making minimum wage in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market prices. In my home state of Wisconsin, for example, one needs to work at least 79 hours a week at minimum wage simple to afford rent. That works out to over 11 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the best case scenario, you would only have to work 68 hours per week in New Mexico to make rent. Worst case scenario? In Washington DC a minimum wage earner has to work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. Minimum wage has long been a political sticking point, but this really makes it crystal clear that the “cost of living” increases to minimum wage over the years do not actually cover the cost of living. Politicians, take note.

  • Man with half a brain

    This may be the dumbest thing I have ever seen. 140 hrs a week to get a 2 bedroom apt in dc? Lets do the math. Minimum wage in dc is $8.25 an hr which makes overtime $12.38 an hr. That means if you work 140 hrs a week you would earn $1567.50 a week before taxes. Lets take out a generous 25% for taxes, now you TAKE HOME $1175.63 a week. Times that by 52 and divide by 12 and you have $5094 a month TAKE HOME  to live on. I did some searching online and you can find a pretty nice 2 bedroom apt from 1500-1800 a month. So now you have aprox. $3300 a month for electric, water, gas, insurance, and food. Everything else is a luxury. Lets suppose you have a crazy high electric bill of 500 and water of 100 and you burn 100 a week in gas. Thats $1000. So unless you eat like a farm animal and consume $2300 a month in food, you dont have to work 140 hrs a week at minimum wage to  get a 2 bedroom apt in dc. I actually saw some apts for 900, and I doubt your electric would be 500, and im sure you water bill would be alot less than 100. This is all assuming you only take home 75% of your earnings and you leave every light in the house on all day everyday. Any fool with a $0.97 calculator can tell you that these figures are idiotic! But then again, im sure this was done by someone who lives VERY comfortable and has never earned minimum wage.

  • dzil

    Why do so many Americans (in lower classes/Castes- “NO” more middle,compared to 1% too-big-to-fail), continue to subjugate, resign, themselves to persecution/tribulations of class-warfare of privatization/corporateocracy/plutocracy/oligarchy/phony, crony, free-market “capitalism” election after election, are influenced and persuaded against their best interests, generation after generation with Conservative nonsense/insanity? All that ALEC, Free-market,States rights to phat-ten the wallstreet-banksters, with LIMITLESS corporate welfare/profits…benefits of “Citizens”-divided/obstructed- “United” corporately, privitisation of Government is having it’s intended effect ( “We the people” have been sold,bought-purchased on the cheap). The Koch-goebbelsish propaganda aparatus is a MAJOR political success, even influencing certain members of the supremecourt of America…..They’re fulfilling Hitlers wildest Dreams to conquer and divide the world obviously. The 1% master race dominating and controlling the 99%…The same (Grand) old (Guard) status quo, institutions and channels are being utilized,mainly a mindless,insane,apathetic, accomodating MAJORITY in a vassal state of consciousness.

  • Ninety nine

     Any fool without a calculator could figure out that 140 hrs a week is 3 1/2 weeks of work so the wages you are talking about represent 14 weeks of working in 1 month.