Raising a Family in NJ on Minimum Wage

NJ Households Must Earn
$51,838 to Afford Housing

President Obama“To everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.”

Stated President Obama during is January 20, 2015 State of the Union Address.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, (NLIHC) in New Jersey, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $8.25 in order to afford the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 121 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 3 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

In New Jersey, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,296. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,320 monthly or $51,838 annually.

Senator Robert MenendezThese statistics show just how hard it is for New Jersey families earning a minimum wage to work full-time and afford an apartment. NJ needs more good paying jobs and more rental vouchers.

On January 21, 2015, NJ.Com reported on the “N.J. reaction to Obama’s State of the Union address: Democrats liked it, Republicans didn’t.”

As one reaction to the President’s State of the Union address from New Jersey’s delegation in Congress, Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez saw it this way:

“The president laid out a bold vision to build on the progress we’ve made to grow our economy, expand opportunity and make sure the American resurgence doesn’t just benefit the select few, but all Americans.”

Let’s hope that Congress can work together in 2015 to make sure that “the American resurgence” helps minimum and low wageworkers along with the rest of America.

Click here for the NJ.Com article.