Rental affordability continues to burden on Americans in cities large and small, exhibited by new data out from Zillow. Based on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, it would take nearly four full-time minimum wage workers to afford the typical national two-bedroom rental, spending a maximum of 30 percent of household wages on their rent payments.
A higher minimum wage, however, does not guarantee workers will be so easily able to afford rent. In San Francisco, despite minimum wage sitting at $16.99 an hour, Zillow found that an individual worker would need to make nearly three times that—$49.01—in order to afford a one-bedroom rental.
Zillow analyzed the 50 largest cities in the U.S. and found workers in cities that have set higher minimum wages fare better, even where rent is more expensive than the national average. Of all the cities analyzed that have a minimum wage higher than $7.25 an hour, a two-bedroom rental would require an average of 2.5 full-time workers to be affordable.
Affordability for minimum wage workers is tightest in Austin, where there would need to be more than five full-time minimum wage workers to afford a two-bedroom rental.
In San Jose, where minimum wage is $17, 3.4 minimum wage jobs would be needed for a typical two bedroom. An estimated 2.7 jobs are needed to make rent in Los Angeles and Long Beach, while 2.5 jobs are needed for Oakland renters.