Minimum Wage Workers Working 40 Hours a Week Can’t Afford a Two-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere

During his State of the Union address, President Obama unexpectedly called for a hike in the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour, and Congressional Democrats are calling for an even higher hike to $10.10.

The importance of boosting the minimum wage was highlighted earlier this week when the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released a report showing how difficult it is for low-income Americans to get affordable housing.

The report notes that there is no state in the country where a minimum wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford a two-bedroom apartment for their family. In the cheapest state, a worker would have to work approximately 1.4 jobs to afford such an arrangement, and in Hawaii, a worker would have to work 4.4 jobs at the minimum wage.

The report then follows up with this shocking fact:

The one-bedroom housing wage also exceeds the federal minimum wage in each state across the country. In fact, with the exception of a handful of counties in Washington and Oregon (where the state minimum wage is $9.19 and $8.95, respectively), there is no county in the U.S. where even a one-bedroom unit at the FMR is affordable to someone working full-time at the minimum wage.

As we’ve noted previously, one way to force House Republicans to support increasing the minimum wage would be to put increases on state ballots in 2014. This would increase progressive voter turnout and threaten to unseat Republicans who failed to back an increase.

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