Latest data show workers in the job sector with the most new hires are often priced out of housing
WASHINGTON, July 21, 2011—In the midst of a slow recovery from a prolonged recession, home prices have dropped and some employers are slowly starting to hire. Yet workers in many newly filled jobs still may not be able to afford housing at the wages currently being offered. The latest edition of the Paycheck to Paycheck database from the Center for Housing Policy (the Center) reveals the gap between wages and the costs of housing, both rental and owned, in more than 200 U.S. metro areas for workers in 72 occupations.
“The types of jobs currently being offered often don’t pay enough to afford housing and still have money left over for food, healthcare, and other household expenses,” said Center researcher and report author Maya Brennan.
National Housing Conference President Maureen Friar added, “Paycheck to Paycheck shows that job creation is only part of the answer for improving households’ economic prospects. Policies are also needed to ensure that housing is affordable for America’s working families.”
An accompanying report, Paycheck to Paycheck: Is Housing Affordable for Americans Getting Back to Work?, explores trends in housing affordability for workers in the five most common jobs in the industry sector doing the most hiring: accountants, groundskeepers, janitors, office clerks and security guards. Of these professions, the Paycheck to Paycheck data finds that only one—accountants—offers wages high enough to afford to rent or pay the mortgage on a home at typical prices nationwide. Not a single metro area studied in Paycheck to Paycheck offered a fair-market rent on a two-bedroom apartment affordable on a janitor’s salary, and in only 11 out of 209 markets could a janitor afford the mortgage on a median-priced home. In the most expensive markets covered, even relatively high-earning accountants could not afford the typical rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
See the data for 209 U.S. metro areas
Read the report
· Of the five most common jobs in the industry sector (the Professional and Business Services supersector) doing the most hiring—accountants, groundskeepers, janitors, office clerks and security guards—only accountants earn enough on average to afford rent or mortgage payments at typical prices nationwide. However, even an accountant’s salary will not cover rent on a typical two-bedroom apartment or the mortgage payment on a median home in the most expensive housing...