CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new study from Zillow found it would take over four people earning minimum wage to cover the cost of rent for an apartment in Charlotte.
Zillow analyzed the 50 largest cities in the U.S. looking at the local minimum wage compared to rent price increases. Researchers found that workers in cities with higher minimum wages fare better, even where rent is more expensive than the national average.
In Charlotte, the typical one-bedroom apartment costs $1,319 a month to rent, while the average two-bedroom apartment costs $1,552 per month.
Zillow found that if you're earning minimum wage of $7.25, it would take 3.8 full-time jobs to afford a typical one-bedroom apartment in the Queen City. For a two-bedroom apartment, you'd need 4.5 full-time jobs at minimum wage. That's compared to the national average of nearly four people making minimum wage.
Skyrocketing rent is nothing new in Charlotte, where renters have voiced concerns about the lack of affordable housing for some time. Ashley Voyer told WCNC Charlotte last summer she was forced out of her apartment on the edge of Uptown when the rent was going up nearly $600 per month. The one-bedroom unit was going to go from around $1,400 to $1,963 if she chose to stay.
"The amount that they were offering was just absurd," Voyer said.
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Charlotte is one of six cities where you'd need at least four minimum wage earners to pay the rent. The others are Austin, Texas, Atlanta, Nashville, Tennessee, Dallas and Raleigh.
In cities where the minimum wage is higher than $7.25, Zillow found it would take 2.5 full-time workers to make the average rent nationwide.
Only 10 of the 50 largest cities can two full-time workers earning minimum wage comfortably afford a typical two-bedroom rental, according to the study. All 10 of those cities have minimum wages greater than $10 an hour, ranging from $10.10 in Cleveland, Ohio, to $15.50 in Sacramento and Fresno, California. Nationally, four minimum-wage workers would have to double up in both bedrooms to not stretch their budgets too thin to make rent, Zillow found.
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