The Least Livable US Cities for Minimum Wage Earners

a united states map showing the 10 most livable cities for minimum wage earners and the 10 least livable cities for minimum wage earners

From New York to Los Angeles, American cities are known around the world for being vibrant, industrious, and constantly growing. Every year, more people are enticed into big cities by unique job opportunities, cultures, landscapes, and communities.

As populations in these cities rise, so too does the cost of living—and if a city’s minimum wage doesn’t increase fast enough to match its growth, residents can be hard-pressed to make ends meet.

This is because minimum wage and living wage (how much you actually need to get by) aren’t the same thing. For example, the federal minimum wage in the US is $7.25 an hour, but the average living wage is $16.071 (and varies from city to city).

States and some cities set their own minimum wages to help their citizens break even. While this makes it easier for breadwinners and heads of households to get by, not all states or cities take this step. Even cities and states that increase the minimum wage almost never set the threshold at the living wage.

If you work a job that pays minimum wage and want to move to one of these cities, check the cost of living to make sure it would be feasible for you. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of popular American cities and ranked them based on how easily someone on minimum wage could live there.

Keep reading to learn what we discovered.

Our ranking criteria

We looked at the 75 most populous cities according to the US Census Bureau2 and gathered the following info about each:

  • Minimum wage (dollars per hour)3
  • Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment4
  • Average monthly cost of internet and basic utilities

We then calculated how many hours people living in different cities would need to work at minimum wage to pay for their apartments and utilities (not including any other expenses such as groceries or transportation).

Based on our calculations, we ranked the cities from the least livable to the most livable for minimum wage earners.

10 least livable cities for minimum wage earners

#1. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is a popular tourist destination, a diverse melting pot of culture, and a hub for technological advancement. But with an ever-increasing cost of living,5 the City by the Bay is notoriously unlivable for all but the highest earners. For this reason, it might be more feasible to visit SF than to move there.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 56
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 241
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2,464
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $183.31

#2. Irvine, CA

Home to several universities and assorted corporate headquarters, Irvine is a bustling city with a thriving economy. Irvine’s industrious culture makes it ideal for start-ups and captains of industry, but rent is too high for minimum wage earners to live there comfortably.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 48
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 209
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2,095
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $203.81

#3. New York City, NY

New York City is the most populous metropolis in the US, and it’s arguably the most famous as well. Immortalized in countless songs, movies, and TV shows, the Big Apple is a popular tourist destination, and many dream about living there at some point.

That said, minimum wage earners will find it almost impossible to make a decent living in NY. Let’s just say you couldn’t afford Monica’s West Village apartment earning $11 an hour.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 48
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 209
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2,108
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $208.93

#4. Jersey City, NJ

Just across the bay from New York City lies Jersey City, a historic den of artistic talent and ethnic diversity. The skyline is crowned with skyscrapers, and many celebrities (Shaquille O’Neal, Martha Stewart, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few) have called the city home.

But Jersey City’s meager minimum wage means anyone working a low-paying job might struggle to make rent.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 48
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 208
  • Hourly minimum wage: $8.85
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,597
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $242.45

#5. San Jose, CA

San Jose is sometimes referred to as “The Capital of Silicon Valley” because it serves as the headquarters for industry giants like eBay and Samsung. As a complement to all this innovation, the city also has a rich past (both before and after the Spanish colonized that part of California) and a historic downtown area.

Unfortunately, the cost of living is so high that a minimum wage earner would need to work nearly fifty hours each week just to put a roof over their head.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 48
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 207
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $2,094
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $184.53

#6. Austin, TX

Austin is often ranked among the best cities in the US to live in, and it’s easy to see why; it has a healthy economy, a bumping nightlife, and a world-famous food scene. But this all comes at a cost, and since Austin hasn’t set its minimum wage higher than the federal one, it may be difficult for low-income residents to thrive.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 44
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 189
  • Hourly minimum wage: $7.25
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,152
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $214.87

#7. Plano, TX

Plano is known for its strong economy and thriving job market, thanks in part to city officials who work hard to attract corporations to set up shop there. However, like Austin, the city’s minimum wage is set at the federal limit, and the cost of living requires those workers to clock a lot of hours. (On the upside, Plano’s exceptional schools make it one of our top ten places to raise a family.)

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 43
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 187
  • Hourly minimum wage: $7.25
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,155
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $203.85

#8. Oakland, CA

Oakland sits across the Bay Bridge (not to be confused with the Golden Gate Bridge) from San Francisco, so it shares a lot of San Francisco’s natural beauty. Oakland also has a diverse population and a healthy artistic community.

While Oakland’s cost of living is much more reasonable than San Fran’s, it would still be difficult to make ends meet while earning minimum wage there.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 42
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 180
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,784
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $201.43

#9. Honolulu, HI

Hawaii’s capital is surrounded by gorgeous beaches and breathtaking mountains. The city itself is a stunning arrangement of skyscrapers that crawl all the way up to the edge of the ocean. We also give props to Hawaii for its low gender wage gap, which makes it one of the top ten states for women to live.

That said, to make a living at Honolulu’s minimum wage, you’d need to work a little more than full time, so this is another spot we recommend visiting instead of moving to.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 41
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 179
  • Hourly minimum wage: $10.10
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,547
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $259.06

#10. Virginia Beach, VA

On the opposite end of the country, Virginia Beach looks directly out onto the Atlantic Ocean. To get by on minimum wage in Virginia Beach, you’d need to work forty hours a week. This makes Virginia Beach the first city on our list where minimum wage earners don’t have to work overtime to pay for their rent and utilities.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 40
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 175
  • Hourly minimum wage: $7.25
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,068
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $200.66

10 most livable cities for minimum wage earners

#1. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield sits in California’s Kern County, which is among the largest oil-producing counties in the US.6 To live on minimum wage in Bakersfield, you’d only need to work twenty hours a week, making it the most livable city on our list for minimum wage earners.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 20
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 85
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $725
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $208.18

#2. Fresno, CA

A metropolis in the heart of farmland, Fresno offers a unique environment that blends rural and urban scenery into one. While rent in the city runs relatively high, the minimum wage is set at $11, so living in Fresno is still a realistic choice for minimum wage earners. Bonus fact for outdoorsy people: Fresno is only two-and-a-half hours away from Yosemite National Park.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 22
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 95
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $830
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $218.32

#3. Toledo, OH

Toledo’s history is rooted in glass manufacturing, so it’s aptly called “The Glass City.” Jeep is headquartered in Toledo, and the company is one of Toledo’s largest employers. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toledo is the lowest of all the cities on our list.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 22
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 96
  • Hourly minimum wage: $8.55
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $589
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $231.26

#4. Lincoln, NE

As the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln embodies the Cornhusker State’s community, history, and culture. Lincoln’s minimum wage is $9 an hour and its rental prices are fairly low, making living there very reasonable. Lincoln is also home to three different colleges, so it’s a fantastic town for students—and a great place to stay after graduation.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 22
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 96
  • Hourly minimum wage: $9.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $647
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $219.57

#5. Tucson, AZ

Two things make Tucson another superb college town: the University of Arizona and the city’s $11 minimum wage. This combination is ideal for students because it allows them to get an excellent education while earning enough money to stay afloat and avoid taking on immense amounts of debt. (Pssst: If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to study, check out our list of affordable college towns.)

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 98
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $703
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $371.93

#6. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati’s cost of living is among the lowest on our list. Pair this with the city’s higher-than-federal minimum wage, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the most livable US cities of its size.

Cincinnati also has deep roots in beer culture and boasts a broad assortment of craft breweries, making it a great home for beer connoisseurs.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 98
  • Hourly minimum wage: $8.55
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $643
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $193.57

#7. Phoenix, AZ

If you want to live in a big city and don’t mind the desert heat, Phoenix might be the perfect place for you. The city offers an $11 minimum wage and a reasonable cost of living, so it’s easy to see why it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 98
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $855
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $221.86

#8. Detroit, MI

Also known as “Motor City,” Detroit is a historic town with a vital music scene and strong ties to the automobile industry. Detroit offers a higher minimum wage than the federal mandate, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment is very manageable. As a bonus, people who live and work in downtown Detroit don’t need to worry about buying a car. Instead, they can get around on the Detroit People Mover, a speedy train that runs by the city’s major landmarks.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 99
  • Hourly minimum wage: $9.25
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $685
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $233.36

#9. Mesa, AZ

Mesa is a smaller suburb of Phoenix with a slightly higher cost of living. Even so, Mesa is still reasonably affordable for minimum wage earners. To cover an apartment and utilities in Mesa, you’d only need to work twenty-three hours at the city’s minimum wage.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 100
  • Hourly minimum wage: $11.00
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $874
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $224.87

#10. Cleveland, OH

Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland is a passion-filled city with lots to offer sports fans and music fans alike. To live on minimum wage in Cleveland, you’d only need to work about twenty-three hours a week.

  • Hours you’d need to work each week: 23
  • Hours you’d need to work each month: 101
  • Hourly minimum wage: $8.55
  • Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $640
  • Average monthly cost of utilities: $223.73

Methodology

For our rankings, we analyzed the seventy-five most populous cities in the United States. These rankings were based solely on each city’s minimum wage and how much it would cost on average to pay for utilities and a one-bedroom apartment in that city.

Additional expenses like food, insurance, entertainment, and transportation had no impact on the rankings, though some were mentioned occasionally throughout the article. We also didn’t rank these cities based on crime statistics, unemployment rates, access to government services, or other secondary factors.

Though cost of living and income levels both factor into how livable a city might be, these rankings don’t necessarily reflect the overall quality of life for residents.

For the complete list of our rankings, check out the table below.

Thinking of moving?

If our list made you consider moving to a city with a higher minimum wage or a lower cost of living than the one you’re in right now, we can help you find a long-distance moving company to get you there. Or, if we helped you decide not to move somewhere with higher rent or a lower minimum wage, we would love to hear about it in the comments.

Have you ever lived on minimum wage in any of the cities we mentioned? Feel free to comment and tell us about your experience.

Full dataset

RankCityMinimum wageAverage cost of livingWeekly work hoursPopulation (2017)Unemployment rate7
1San Francisco, CA$11.00 $2,647.31 56884,3632.90%
2Irvine, CA$11.00 $2,298.81 48277,453Unavailable
3New York City, NY$11.10 $2,314.93 488,622,6984.60%
4Jersey City, NJ$8.85 $1,839.45 48270,753Unavailable
5San Jose, CA$11.00 $2,278.53 481,035,3173.30%
6Austin, TX$7.25 $1,366.87 44950,7152.90%
7Plano, TX$7.25 $1,358.85 43286,143Unavailable
8Oakland, CA$11.00 $1,985.43 42425,1954.20%
9Honolulu, HI$10.10 $1,806.06 41350,395Unavailable
10Virginia Beach, VA$7.25 $1,268.66 40450,4353.60%
11Atlanta, GA$7.25 $1,247.16 40486,2905.20%
12Anaheim, CA$11.00 $1,859.81 39352,497Unavailable
13Arlington, TX$7.25 $1,216.05 39396,394Unavailable
14Newark, NJ$8.85 $1,466.33 38285,154Unavailable
15Charlotte, NC$7.25 $1,194.33 38859,0354.40%
16Philadelphia, PA$7.25 $1,182.50 381,580,8636.20%
17Raleigh, NC$7.25 $1,170.38 37464,7584.20%
18San Diego, CA$11.00 $1,757.20 371,419,5163.90%
19Henderson, NV$8.25 $1,315.90 37302,539Unavailable
20Boston, MA$12.00 $1,904.77 37685,0943.40%
21Nashville, TN$7.25 $1,147.41 37667,5602.70%
22Fort Worth, TX$7.25 $1,134.50 36874,1683.80%
23Dallas, TX$7.25 $1,107.72 351,341,0753.80%
24Miami, FL$8.46 $1,255.37 34463,3474.70%
25San Antonio, TX$7.25 $1,074.65 341,511,9463.50%
26Orlando, FL$8.46 $1,253.28 34280,257Unavailable
27Santa Ana, CA$11.00 $1,617.00 34334,136Unavailable
28Corpus Christi, TX$7.25 $1,057.91 34325,605Unavailable
29Tampa, FL$8.46 $1,218.70 33385,430Unavailable
30Long Beach, CA$11.00 $1,581.25 33469,4504.80%
31Los Angeles, CA$11.00 $1,571.18 333,999,7594.70%
32Houston, TX$7.25 $1,026.81 332,312,7174.80%
33Las Vegas, NV$8.25 $1,148.47 32641,6765.40%
34New Orleans, LA$7.25 $1,002.96 32393,292Unavailable
35Pittsburgh, PA$7.25 $981.01 31302,407Unavailable
36Jacksonville, FL$8.46 $1,112.72 30892,0624.20%
37Seattle, WA$12.00 $1,545.24 30724,7453.40%
38Greensboro, NC$7.25 $928.64 30290,222Unavailable
39Portland, OR$10.75 $1,353.03 29647,8053.60%
40Indianapolis, IN$7.25 $908.09 29863,0023.60%
41Milwaukee, WI$7.25 $903.87 29595,3514.60%
42Memphis, TN$7.25 $899.32 29652,2364.80%
43Aurora, CO$11.10 $1,372.27 29366,623Unavailable
44Albuquerque, NM$7.50 $918.47 28558,5455.50%
45St. Paul, MN$9.86 $1,199.63 28306,621Unavailable
46Lexington, KY$7.25 $876.52 28321,959Unavailable
47Louisville, KY$7.25 $871.65 28621,3494.40%
48Tulsa, OK$7.25 $869.89 28401,8004.50%
49Kansas City, MO$8.60 $1,022.50 27488,9434.30%
50El Paso, TX$7.25 $861.05 27683,5774.40%
51Anchorage, AL$9.89 $1,174.12 27294,356Unavailable
52Oklahoma City, OK$7.25 $851.22 27643,6483.90%
53Baltimore, MD$10.10 $1,170.71 27611,6486.10%
54Washington, DC$13.25 $1,528.49 27693,9726.10%
55Riverside, CA$11.00 $1,263.33 27327,728Unavailable
56Columbus, OH$8.55 $967.72 26879,1704.10%
57Denver, CO$11.10 $1,241.03 26704,6212.80%
58Minneapolis, MN$9.86 $1,098.43 26422,3313.10%
59St. Louis, MO$8.60 $951.95 26308,626Unavailable
60Wichita, KS$7.25 $801.85 26390,5914.40%
61Sacramento, CA$11.00 $1,212.83 25501,9014.70%
62Omaha, NE$9.00 $967.25 25466,8933.20%
63Chicago, IL$12.00 $1,265.77 242,716,4505.50%
64Stockton, CA$11.00 $1,159.27 24310,496Unavailable
65Colorado Springs, CO$11.10 $1,161.05 24464,4743.20%
66Cleveland, OH$8.55 $863.73 23385,5257.40%
67Mesa, AZ$11.00 $1,098.87 23496,4014.20%
68Detroit, MI$9.25 $918.36 23673,1049.30%
69Phoenix, AZ$11.00 $1,076.86 231,626,0784.30%
70Cincinnati, OH$8.55 $836.57 23301,301Unavailable
71Tucson, AZ$11.00 $1,074.93 23535,6774.70%
72Lincoln, NE$9.00 $866.57 22284,736Unavailable
73Toledo, OH$8.55 $820.26 22276,491Unavailable
74Fresno, CA$11.00 $1,048.32 22527,4386.70%
75Bakersfield, CA$11.00 $933.18 20380,874Unavailable
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City Minimum wage Average cost of living Weekly work hours Population (2017) Unemployment rate7
San Francisco, CA $11.00 $2,647.31 56 884,363 2.90%
Irvine, CA $11.00 $2,298.81 48 277,453 Unavailable
New York City, NY $11.10 $2,314.93 48 8,622,698 4.60%
Jersey City, NJ $8.85 $1,839.45 48 270,753 Unavailable
San Jose, CA $11.00 $2,278.53 48 1,035,317 3.30%
Austin, TX $7.25 $1,366.87 44 950,715 2.90%
Plano, TX $7.25 $1,358.85 43 286,143 Unavailable
Oakland, CA $11.00 $1,985.43 42 425,195 4.20%
Honolulu, HI $10.10 $1,806.06 41 350,395 Unavailable
Virginia Beach, VA $7.25 $1,268.66 40 450,435 3.60%
Atlanta, GA $7.25 $1,247.16 40 486,290 5.20%
Anaheim, CA $11.00 $1,859.81 39 352,497 Unavailable
Arlington, TX $7.25 $1,216.05 39 396,394 Unavailable
Newark, NJ $8.85 $1,466.33 38 285,154 Unavailable
Charlotte, NC $7.25 $1,194.33 38 859,035 4.40%
Philadelphia, PA $7.25 $1,182.50 38 1,580,863 6.20%
Raleigh, NC $7.25 $1,170.38 37 464,758 4.20%
San Diego, CA $11.00 $1,757.20 37 1,419,516 3.90%
Henderson, NV $8.25 $1,315.90 37 302,539 Unavailable
Boston, MA $12.00 $1,904.77 37 685,094 3.40%
Nashville, TN $7.25 $1,147.41 37 667,560 2.70%
Fort Worth, TX $7.25 $1,134.50 36 874,168 3.80%
Dallas, TX $7.25 $1,107.72 35 1,341,075 3.80%
Miami, FL $8.46 $1,255.37 34 463,347 4.70%
San Antonio, TX $7.25 $1,074.65 34 1,511,946 3.50%
Orlando, FL $8.46 $1,253.28 34 280,257 Unavailable
Santa Ana, CA $11.00 $1,617.00 34 334,136 Unavailable
Corpus Christi, TX $7.25 $1,057.91 34 325,605 Unavailable
Tampa, FL $8.46 $1,218.70 33 385,430 Unavailable
Long Beach, CA $11.00 $1,581.25 33 469,450 4.80%
Los Angeles, CA $11.00 $1,571.18 33 3,999,759 4.70%
Houston, TX $7.25 $1,026.81 33 2,312,717 4.80%
Las Vegas, NV $8.25 $1,148.47 32 641,676 5.40%
New Orleans, LA $7.25 $1,002.96 32 393,292 Unavailable
Pittsburgh, PA $7.25 $981.01 31 302,407 Unavailable
Jacksonville, FL $8.46 $1,112.72 30 892,062 4.20%
Seattle, WA $12.00 $1,545.24 30 724,745 3.40%
Greensboro, NC $7.25 $928.64 30 290,222 Unavailable
Portland, OR $10.75 $1,353.03 29 647,805 3.60%
Indianapolis, IN $7.25 $908.09 29 863,002 3.60%
Milwaukee, WI $7.25 $903.87 29 595,351 4.60%
Memphis, TN $7.25 $899.32 29 652,236 4.80%
Aurora, CO $11.10 $1,372.27 29 366,623 Unavailable
Albuquerque, NM $7.50 $918.47 28 558,545 5.50%
St. Paul, MN $9.86 $1,199.63 28 306,621 Unavailable
Lexington, KY $7.25 $876.52 28 321,959 Unavailable
Louisville, KY $7.25 $871.65 28 621,349 4.40%
Tulsa, OK $7.25 $869.89 28 401,800 4.50%
Kansas City, MO $8.60 $1,022.50 27 488,943 4.30%
El Paso, TX $7.25 $861.05 27 683,577 4.40%
Anchorage, AL $9.89 $1,174.12 27 294,356 Unavailable
Oklahoma City, OK $7.25 $851.22 27 643,648 3.90%
Baltimore, MD $10.10 $1,170.71 27 611,648 6.10%
Washington, DC $13.25 $1,528.49 27 693,972 6.10%
Riverside, CA $11.00 $1,263.33 27 327,728 Unavailable
Columbus, OH $8.55 $967.72 26 879,170 4.10%
Denver, CO $11.10 $1,241.03 26 704,621 2.80%
Minneapolis, MN $9.86 $1,098.43 26 422,331 3.10%
St. Louis, MO $8.60 $951.95 26 308,626 Unavailable
Wichita, KS $7.25 $801.85 26 390,591 4.40%
Sacramento, CA $11.00 $1,212.83 25 501,901 4.70%
Omaha, NE $9.00 $967.25 25 466,893 3.20%
Chicago, IL $12.00 $1,265.77 24 2,716,450 5.50%
Stockton, CA $11.00 $1,159.27 24 310,496 Unavailable
Colorado Springs, CO $11.10 $1,161.05 24 464,474 3.20%
Cleveland, OH $8.55 $863.73 23 385,525 7.40%
Mesa, AZ $11.00 $1,098.87 23 496,401 4.20%
Detroit, MI $9.25 $918.36 23 673,104 9.30%
Phoenix, AZ $11.00 $1,076.86 23 1,626,078 4.30%
Cincinnati, OH $8.55 $836.57 23 301,301 Unavailable
Tucson, AZ $11.00 $1,074.93 23 535,677 4.70%
Lincoln, NE $9.00 $866.57 22 284,736 Unavailable
Toledo, OH $8.55 $820.26 22 276,491 Unavailable
Fresno, CA $11.00 $1,048.32 22 527,438 6.70%
Bakersfield, CA $11.00 $933.18 20 380,874 Unavailable

Sources

1. Living Wage Calculator, “Bare Facts About the Living Wage in America 2017-2018

2. US Census Bureau, “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More

3. US Department of Labor, “Consolidated Minimum Wage Table

4. Apartment List, “Rental Price Data

5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Consumer Price Index, San Francisco Area

6. San Diego Union Tribune, “California’s ranking as an oil-producing state is slipping

7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Local Area Unemployment Statistics

About Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over three years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.
  • http://ashkir.com/ Ashkir

    Hello. Your minimum wage calculations are a bit incorrect. San Francisco, and San Jose minimum wage is $15.00. Bakersfield’s is $12.00. California is $12.00 minimums. Oakland is $12.25.

    • Ronald McDonald

      I thought the same too but looking at the chart the year referenced is 2017. None the less great article on the how minimum wage is not enough to survive in these cities. On another note I just finished a great book about this same topic titled “Nickel & Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich. Very good read.

  • Mr. Alderson

    fresno is actually the closest major city to yosemite and i believe also sequoia and kings and sierra national forest. and technically its only 1 hour to yosemite depending how deep you go in yosemite valley.

  • Shawn Matheny

    Joe has moved all over Utah ……well, I am sure that’s impressive, however, anyone without a degree in writing is able to do a better job of writing about other places. Anyone is able to use internet stats and write a paper and we all know what you read on line is accurate, however, get out of Utah and learn more before you try to come off as an expert.