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 South 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.

South Carolina State Facts Regarding Minimum Wage and Rent:

  • Minimum Wage: $7.25
  • Average Renter Wage: $18.98
  • 2-Bedroom Housing Wage: $19.30
  • Percent Renters: 30%

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 South 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 South 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 (2.7 full time jobs) to afford a 2-bedroom home
    • Work 91 hours per week (2.3 full time jobs) to afford a 1 -bedroom home
  • South Carolina Metropolitan Areas

  • Anderson

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.02

    2 Bedroom FMR: $833

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $33,320

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

  • Augusta-Richmond County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.42

    2 Bedroom FMR: $902

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $36,240

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

  • Beaufort

    Beaufort

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $24.10

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,253

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $50,120

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.3

  • Charleston-North Charleston

    Charleston

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $26.38

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,372

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $54,880

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 3.6

  • Chester County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.69

    2 Bedroom FMR: $712

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,480

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

  • Clarendon Country

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.69

    2 Bedroom FMR: $712

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,480

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

  • Columbia

    Columbia

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $19.04

    2 Bedroom FMR: $990

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $39,600

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

  • Darlington County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $13.87

    2 Bedroom FMR: $721

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $28,840

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

  • Florence

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.00

    2 Bedroom FMR: $832

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $33,280

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

  • Greenville

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $19.08

    2 Bedroom FMR: $992

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $39,680

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

  • Jasper County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $17.87

    2 Bedroom FMR: $929

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $37,160

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

  • Kershaw County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $14.62

    2 Bedroom FMR: $760

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $30,400

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

  • Lancaster County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.23

    2 Bedroom FMR: $884

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $33,760

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

  • Laurens County

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $15.06

    2 Bedroom FMR: $783

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $31,320

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

  • Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway

    South Carolina

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $20.42

    2 Bedroom FMR: $1,602

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $42,480

    Full Time Jobs At Minimum Wage Needed to Afford FMR: 2.8

  • Spartanburg

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.62

    2 Bedroom FMR: $864

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $32,560

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

  • Sumter

    Hourly Wage To Afford 2 Bedroom Fair Market Rent (FMR): $16.37

    2 Bedroom FMR: $851

    Annual Income Needed To Afford FMR: $34,040

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