How Many Minimum-Wage Hours Does It Take to Afford a Decent Life?
In 2010, one in five American adults worked for poverty-level wages, 4.4 million of whom earned wages at or below the federal minimum.
The infographic above, from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, makes painfully clear just how hard it is to make ends meet on these wages.
Want a modest two-bedroom apartment in New York state for the standard 30 percent of your income? You’re going to have to toil at a minimum-wage job for 136 hours a week. In California? One hundred thirty hours. How about in Texas, where one in 10 hourly workers make the minimum or less? Eighty-eight hours. Don’t forget, there are only 168 hours in a week. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for sleeping and eating.
Few states are considering a change to minimum wage; Massachusetts, for example, is currently in talks to raise its state minimum to $10 an hour (which would be the highest rate in the country).