At today’s average wage, you’d need to work about 63 hours to earn enough to cover the typical monthly U.S. rent of $2,040.
A new Zillow analysis estimated the average amount of time needed to afford that payment is 62.6 hours. That’s three hours more than they would have needed to work a year ago, and six hours more than before the pandemic in October 2019, the data showed.
The average hourly wage has grown 23% over the past five years. Rents are up 36.9% over the same period.
It’s even worse in some high-ticket metros like Miami, where the study showed renters need to work three full-time days more than they did five years ago to earn enough to pay the typical rent. That means it takes 96 hours of work to make that payment, versus 24 hours more than Miami renters would have needed to work to pay rent five years ago—the biggest gap in the 50 largest metros, Zillow said.
Other Sun Belt markets—where pandemic remote workers fled over the past two years—are seeing similar jumps. An average worker in Tampa would need to work an additional 20 hours to pay rent compared to five years ago. Phoenix rents are up 66.7% since 2017, the most in the country among large markets, and renters need to work 17 hours more to pay rent, according to Zillow.
“The rental market has cooled this year, but so far that has meant prices growing more slowly, not any real relief for renters,” said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow.