Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | work | hours

What Is Number of Hours Minimum Wage Americans Work Per Week on Average?

By    |   Friday, 16 Oct 2015 05:06 PM

Americans earning minimum wages must work more hours a day than other Americans simply to stay above the poverty line.

Minimum wage workers must work at least 50 hours a week in order to support themselves and two children, reported the National Journal. A one-earner couple working for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 60 hours a week, well over the standard 9-5 workday to which most Americans are accustomed.

In order to attain the needed hours to stay above the poverty line, workers need more than just the willingness to put in the time. Some employers refuse to let their employees work beyond a fixed number of hours so that they do not need to promise benefits. Additionally, some workers who balance multiple job schedules, commutes, and children may struggle just to keep up with the normal 40-hour workweek.

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

In most states, the 50 hours required to keep an individual above the poverty line is still not enough to afford rent. On average, a worker must make $18.92 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in most places in the U.S., USA Today reported.

California has one of the worst hours-to-rent ratios, in which employees must work an average of 130 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment using 30 percent of their income, said USA Today.

California is among 20 other states and D.C., whose minimum wage rates are higher than the federal one. Still, a higher minimum wage cannot account for the high costs of living in many areas of the U.S.

Minimum wage workers in Arkansas, on the other hand, receive only the federal minimum wage rate and must work 69 hours a week to afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Arkansas’ cost of living requires the fewest amount of hours, though 69 is still above the more sought-after 40 hours.

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About the Minimum Wage?

“The minimum wage has just not kept up with the cost of living for about 40 years," Bob Pollin, Political Economy Research Institute and economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst, told USA Today.

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Americans earning minimum wages must work more hours a day than other Americans simply to stay above the poverty line.
minimum wage, work, hours
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2015-06-16
Friday, 16 Oct 2015 05:06 PM
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