The US isn’t known for its generous minimum wage.
On a federal level, the minimum wage is $US7.25 an hour. State by state, however, the hourly rate ranges from $US9.05 per hour in Washington, DC, to $US5.15 an hour in Georgia and Wyoming (where they have to use the federal rate).
Even in the more generous states, minimum wage doesn’t translate to a lot of purchasing power. The National Low Income Housing Coalition illustrates exactly how difficult it is to get by on so little in the map below, which calculates how many hours of working at minimum wage it would take to rent an apartment in each state.
The Coalition found that in no state can a worker earning minimum wage and working a 40-hour week afford a one-bedroom rental without spending more than 30% of their income, the percentage typically used to indicate affordability.
In states like California, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, workers would have to put in over 90 hours a week.
The report, “Out of Reach 2015” concludes that in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment working a 40-hour week, a renter would need to earn $US15.50 an hour, higher than any state’s minimum wage. To afford two bedrooms, that renter would have to be paid $US19.50.
We first saw this map on Policy Mic.