Tucson ranked No. 2 affordable big city in country for minimum wage earners

Jun 28, 2021, 4:15 AM
(Facebook photo/City of Tucson,Arizona)...
(Facebook photo/City of Tucson,Arizona)
(Facebook photo/City of Tucson,Arizona)

PHOENIX — Tucson was ranked as one of the most affordable big cities in the country for those making minimum wage.

WalletHub analyzed the 75 most populous cities in the United States and ranked each by how many hours it would take for a renter to afford the median one-bedroom apartment cost while making minimum wage.

The study found it would take 57.4 monthly hours worked at the state’s gross minimum wage ($12.15) to afford the median rent of $697.

Bakersfield, California, was found to be the most affordable for low-income earners, boosted by the city’s $14 hourly minimum wage even though the rent is higher than Tucson at $733.

Tucson’s median monthly gross rent ranked third-best in the top 10 cities, behind Detriot, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio.

Phoenix was also among the more affordable big cities in the country for those making minimum wage, coming in at No. 14.

The median monthly rent in Arizona’s most populous city – the fifth-most in the country – is much higher than Tucson at $924 and would take 76 monthly hours worked at gross minimum wage to afford rent.

Mesa was just behind Phoenix at No. 17 with a median monthly rent of $982, which would take approximately 80 hours of work to afford rent at minimum wage.

The least affordable city in the country for minimum wage earners, according to the study, was Atlanta, Georgia.

While not the most expensive monthly rent on the list ($1,283), the state’s minimum wage is only $7.25 which would force minimum wage earners to work 177 hours a month to afford rent.

San Francisco’s median rent is the highest among the most populous cities in the nation at just over $2,000, but the city’s minimum wage is $16.07 an hour.

The website’s ranking was just based on how many hours worked it would take to afford rent on minimum wage, with additional expenses, cost of living and quality of life not factored into the rankings.

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Tucson ranked No. 2 affordable big city in country for minimum wage earners