If you struggle to pay your rent or mortgage each month, this next fact won’t surprise you: In no state in the U.S. can a worker who earns the federal minimum wage afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home working the standard 40-hour work week.
In North Carolina, a worker would need to earn about $17 an hour to afford that same two-bedroom apartment. More than 1-in-4 North Carolina households are “cost-burdened” by having to pay at least 30% of their income for housing. A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition examines the high costs of housing and the shortage of affordable rental units. Based on those findings:
35: percentage of North Carolinians who rent.
$7.25: N.C.’s minimum wage.
$16.95: the average hourly housing wage a worker would need to earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment in North Carolina at fair-market rent.
2.3: average number of full-time jobs at minimum wage an individual would need to work to afford a two-bedroom rental home.
94: number of hours a worker earning just minimum wage would need to work to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home at fair-market rent.
$881: fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in N.C.
30: percentage of Guilford County households that are cost-burdened.
$32,240: annual salary a Guilford County family would need to earn to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.
$19,670: average annual salary of a child care worker in Guilford County.
$27,650: average annual salary of a worker in retail sales in Guilford County.