Everybody’s Working Through The Weekend (And Barely Making Rent)

 

We all know there’s only so much time in a day, week, month, or year, so we are careful how we spend our time. Personally, I spend most of it huddled on the couch binge-watching Netflix, but I also try to cram in some time at the office. Most of us have to spend about 260 of our 365 days a year at our jobs so that we can support ourselves and those ever-rising Netflix prices.

But some renters are spending their whole year working just to earn enough money to pay the rent – and that doesn’t buy them food, transportation, indulgent brunches or Netflix.

In Chicago and Atlanta, renters spent more than half their working hours in 2017 just earning their rent payments. There were 260 workdays this year, and Chicago renters worked 143 days for their rent. Atlanta renters worked 134 days. In San Francisco, renters actually worked overtime – they would have to work 265 days to break even on the median rental in the city.

These totals are just for those who earn their city’s median income. Those who earn less, like baristas and retail workers, had to put in more hours. Meanwhile, some common professionals in each city – such as software developers in San Francisco, financial analysts in Chicago and flight attendants in Atlanta – earned more than the median income, meaning they devoted less working hours toward their  rent payment.

Nationally, 13 percent of renters say they live with roommates to offset these high costs. Those who prefer flying solo can scope out rentals further away from the city core to cut costs. But renters can expect competition for affordable rentals to continue into 2018, so those expecting to move in the New Year should start searching early to get the best shot at snagging their dream apartment.

Check out the full breakdown below to see how much different professionals worked to pay their rent.

 

San Francisco’s Time Worked for Rent in 2017, by Job Category

Job Category Median Annual Incomei Hourly Wageii Cost of Rent for the Entire Yeariii Hours Worked for Rent in 2017 Days Worked for Rent in 2017iv
All Occupations $51,780 $24.89 $52,770 2,120 265
Baristasv $23,650 $11.37 $52,770 4,642 581
Retail Salespeople $27,120 $13.04 $52,770 4,048 506
Teachers $38,800 $18.65 $52,770 2,829 354
Registered Nurses $130,330 $62.66 $52,770 843 106
Software Developers $123,490 $59.37 $52,770 889 112
Graphic Designers $65,210 $31.35 $52,770 1,684 211

 

Chicago’s Time Worked for Rent in 2017, by Job Category

Job Category Median Annual Income Hourly Wage Cost of Rent for the Entire Year Hours Worked for Rent in 2017 Days Worked for Rent in 2017
All Occupations $39,380 $18.93 $21,540 1,138 143
Baristas $19,800 $9.52 $21,540 2,263 283
Retail Salespeople $22,980 $11.05 $21,540 1,950 244
Teachers $49,900 $23.99 $21,540 898 113
Registered Nurses $73,360 $35.27 $21,540 611 77
Financial Analysts $79,890 $38.41 $21,540 561 71

 

Atlanta’s Time Worked for Rent in 2017, by Job Category

Job Category Median Annual Income Hourly Wage Cost of Rent for the Entire Year Hours Worked for Rent in 2017 Days Worked for Rent in 2017
All Occupations $37,310 $17.94 $19,200 1,071 134
Baristas $18,410 $8.85 $19,200 2,170 272
Retail Salespeople $20,610 $9.91 $19,200 1,938 243
Teachers $39,510 $19.00 $19,200 1,011 127
Registered Nurses $68,240 $32.81 $19,200 586 74
Flight Attendants $46,860 $22.53 $19,200 853 107

 

 

[i] Incomes in this analysis were determined using city-level data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

[ii] HotPads assumed a 40-hour workweek to calculate the hourly wage for a job category. For salaried workers, this is the equivalent hourly wage.

[iii] To calculate the yearly rent, HotPads took San Francisco’s current monthly median rent and multiplied it by 12.

[iv] HotPads assumed eight-hour workdays to calculate the days worked to pay rent.

[v] Income data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop” job category.