Paycheck to Paycheck

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Unfortunately, renting or buying a typical home in many U.S. metro areas requires higher than median earnings for police officers, nurses, teachers, janitors, and other key roles that make our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant places to live. The National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy compiled this report that allows you to compare the average income of a whole range of professions in a certain area to the amount of money needed to actually purchase a home or afford a 1- or 2-bedroom rental in that same area. The report covers 207 metro areas, including Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma. For instance, it shows that the average janitor, farmworker, waiter, and housekeeper wage is way too low to afford a home in Seattle.

The database allows you to create graphs that compare:

  • Wages and housing costs in 207 metro areas and the nation
  • Median incomes for 76 occupations
  • Median home prices and the income needed to afford them
  • Fair market rents and the income needed to afford them
  • For the 1st quarter 2013 report, a special focus on travel and tourism workers

Go here to start using the Paycheck to Paycheck database to compare occupational wages and monthly rents in your area.