Low-wage jobs make finding affordable housing difficult for millennial workers


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Report exploring ways millennials differ from common perceptions, and a look at five occupations most often filled by millennials and the housing affordability challenges they face.

When: Released Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015


Find the report on NHC’s website here!

Author: Janet Viveiros, Mindy Ault, Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D.

There are currently 53 million millennial workers in the US labor force, and millennials will comprise a growing share of workers in the years to come. While the number of working millennials is growing, the paychecks of many are insufficient to afford housing in their area, resulting in more instances of housing cost burden and challenges to building wealth for the future. The 2015 installment of Paycheck to Paycheck from the Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference explores ways in which millennials are different from common perceptions and looks at workers in five occupations filled by many millennials workers and the housing affordability challenges they face.

The report explores housing affordability challenges in 208 metro areas nationwide for workers in five occupations that are commonly held by millennials: administrative assistants, retail cashiers, e-commerce customer service representatives, food service managers, and cardiac technicians.

The research finds that despite their higher education levels compared to older generations, the economic downturn and slow recovery have limited job opportunities for many millennials, leaving many with lower-paying jobs and lower incomes. The median income for millennial workers is just $22,000, about half of the median income for all workers. Lower incomes make it difficult for millennials to find housing they can afford and as a result, many are forced to spend a disproportionately high share of their income on housing with little left over for other expenses or savings.

Visit our website to download the report and to access the full database of wages and housing costs for 81 occupations in 208 metro areas.

About NHC and the Center for Housing Policy

The National Housing Conference represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, Realtors®, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues. Learn more at www.nhc.org.

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