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Working for the rental: the gap between income and making rent

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Month after month, the job reports are painting a rosy picture of the American economy. Despite this, wages at these jobs remain stagnant and, while fewer people are buying homes and thus creating a greater demand for rentals, the price of renting a living space is increasing.

And, according to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, it’s not pretty here in New Jersey — where the gap between the average hourly pay ($16.92) and average pay needed to rent a two-bedroom domicile ($25.17) is approximately $8.24 per hour.

Minimum wage in the state is just larger than that gap, after having been raised to $8.38 on Jan. 1.

The most expensive counties in the state are Hunterdon, Middlesex and Somerset, all of which would require, on average, a worker make $28.75 an hour to meet the demands of rent. Monmouth County, in fourth place after the three-way tie, requires $26.40 an hour.

It’s not just New Jersey, but a national trend. Hawaii, for instance, has a gap of $17.12, with its workers earning an average of $14.49 an hour while average rent in the state requires $31.61 an hour.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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