Study Shows Minimum Wage Workers Need To Work 82 Hours/Week To Afford Rent

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 22, 2013 6:20PM

Minimum wage earners in Illinois need to work more than double the hours in a standard work week to pay the rent, according to a study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The report, released earlier this month, says in order for an Illinois minimum wage worker earning an hourly wage of $8.25 to afford a two-bedroom "Fair Market Rent" apartment, she or he would have to work 82 hours a week.

Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Illinois is $885. According to the statistics, a household must earn $35,392 a year in order to afford that without paying more than 30% of total income on housing. That means earning a wage of $17.02 an hour in a standard 40 hour work week to pay the rent. In Cook County, minimum wage earners would need to earn $18.58 an hour. Presently, the average wage for renters is $14.08.

In February, Gov. Pat Quinn called for raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour over the next four years. In his State of the State address, Quinn said, “Nobody in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty…That’s why, over the next four years, we must raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.”