NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 4: Attorney Gloria Allred holds a t-shirt that reads '$7.25' as she arrives for a press conference about the low pay and treatment of former Houston Texans cheerleaders, outside the headquarters of the National Football League (NFL) on Park Avenue, June 4, 2018 in New York City. Allred is helping the former cheerleaders file a lawsuit against the Houston Texans, alleging that they were only paid a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and that they were not paid for many of the hours that they worked and also endured bullying and a hostile work environment.

This is a startling statistic. If you work a minimum wage job in North Carolina you’d have to work 106 per week to afford the average rent. That number comes from the National Low Income Housing Coalition‘s 2022 Out of Reach report. The purpose is to bring awareness to the issue that rent is “out of reach” to many low-income workers across the country.

According to the organization’s website:

Out of Reach documents the significant gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States. The report’s central statistic, the Housing Wage, is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest rental home at HUD’s fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs, the accepted standard of affordability. The FMR is an estimate of what a family moving today can expect to pay for a modestly priced rental home in a given area.

To put it into perspective nationally the Housing Wage is $25.82. That is for a modest two-bedroom rental home. A one-bedroom you would need $21.25 to afford. These statistics are based off of the idea that an individual should spend no more than 1/3 of their income on rent.

North Carolina State Facts Regarding Minimum Wage and Rent:

  • Minimum Wage: $7.25
  • Average Renter Wage: $19.00
  • 2-Bedroom Housing Wage: $19.18
  • Percent Renters: 34%

Where Do The Numbers Come From?

  • Hourly Wage To Afford A 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent: Divide income needed to afford FMR ($53,699) by 52 (weeks per year) and then by 40 (hours per work week) ($53,699 / 52 = $1,033;$1,033 / 40 = $25.82).
  • Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: Multiply the FMR by 12 to get the yearly rental cost ($1,342.47 x 12 = $16,110). Then divide by .3 to determine the total income needed to afford $16,110 per year in rent ($16,110 / .3 = $53,699).
  • Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed To Afford FMR: National average of jobs needed across all counties, weighted by the number of renter households. To find jobs
    needed in a particular state, metro, or county, divide the annual income needed to afford the FMR by 52 (weeks per year). Then divide by the prevailing minimum wage. Then divide by 40 (hours per work week)

The numbers for North Carolina are shocking. It’s a well-known fact that it’s hard to make ends meet on minimum wage. However, the idea that you’d have to work more than 2 full-time jobs that paid minimum wage to afford rent is unacceptable. Let’s take a look at some of the other statistics below and a breakdown of each of North Carolina’s metropolitan areas.

All data comes from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2022 Out of Reach Report which can be read here.

  • To Afford Rent In North Carolina On Minium Wage You'd Have To:

    • Work 106 hours per week (2.6 full time jobs) to afford a 2-bedroom home
    • Work 90 hours per week (2.2 full time jobs) to afford a 1 -bedroom home
  • North Carolina Statewide

    North Carolina Best Places To Live

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $19.18

    2 Bedroom FMR: $997

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $39,897

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.6

  • North Carolina Combined Non Metro Areas

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $14.94

    2 Bedroom FMR: $777

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $31,076

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.1

  • North Carolina Metropolitan Areas

  • Anson County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.48

    2 Bedroom FMR: $805

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $32,200

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: $2.1

  • Asheville

    Asheville

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $26.50

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,378

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $55,120

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.7

  • Brunswick Country

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.81

    2 Bedroom FMR: $926

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $37,040

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.5

  • Burlington

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.13

    2 Bedroom FMR: $35,640

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $981

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.4

  • Camden County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $18.88

    2 Bedroom FMR: $982

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $39,280

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.6

  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia

    Charlotte

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $22.21

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,155

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $46,200

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.1

  • Craven County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $18.92

    2 Bedroom FMR: $984

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $39,360

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.6

  • Davidson County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.92

    2 Bedroom FMR: $724

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: $1.9

  • Durham-Chapel Hill

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $23.06

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,199

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $47,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.2

  • Fayetteville

    Fayettevile

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.56

    2 Bedroom FMR: $913

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $36,520

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.4

  • Gates County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.29

    2 Bedroom FMR: $795

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $31,800

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.1

  • Goldsboro

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.33

    2 Bedroom FMR: $849

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $33,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.3

  • Granville County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.60

    2 Bedroom FMR: $863

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $34,520

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.3

  • Greensboro-High Point

    Greensboro skyline

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $18.31

    2 Bedroom FMR: $952

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $38,080

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR:

  • Greenville

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.50

    2 Bedroom FMR: $910

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $36,400

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.4

  • Harnett County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.46

    2 Bedroom FMR: $856

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $34,240

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.3

  • Haywood County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $18.02

    2 Bedroom FMR: $937

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $37,480

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.5

  • Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton

    Hickory

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.92

    2 Bedroom FMR: $724

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 1.9

  • Hoke County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $14.83

    2 Bedroom FMR: $771

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $30,840

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.0

  • Iredell County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.79

    2 Bedroom FMR: $925

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $37,000

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.5

  • Jacksonville

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.85

    2 Bedroom FMR: $876

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $35,040

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.3

  • Jones County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.92

    2 Bedroom FMR: $724

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 1.9

  • Lincoln County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.69

    2 Bedroom FMR: $816

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $32,640

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.2

  • Pamlico County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.29

    2 Bedroom FMR: $847

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $33,880

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.2

  • Pender County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.35

    2 Bedroom FMR: $902

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $36,080

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.4

  • Person County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.00

    2 Bedroom FMR: $780

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $31,200

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.1

  • Raleigh

    Raleigh

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $23.52

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,223

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $48,920

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.2

  • Rockingham County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $14.52

    2 Bedroom FMR: $755

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $30,200

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.0

  • Rocky Mount

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.63

    2 Bedroom FMR: $813

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $32,520

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.2

  • Rowan County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.81

    2 Bedroom FMR: $874

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $34,960

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.3

  • Wilmington

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $22.38

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,164

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $46,560

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.1

  • Winston-Salem

    Winston Salem

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.54

    2 Bedroom FMR: $808

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $32,320

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.1