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Minimum Wage Earners Likely "House Poor"

By WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Staff
By news@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- A new study shows working a full time job at minimum wage still means you will likely be "house poor" or your rent will eat up more than a third of your pay.

A study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that in none of the 50 states can a person earning minimum wage and comfortably afford a two bedroom apartment, at fair market rate.
In Madison County that is just more than $750.

In Tennessee, a minimum wage worker would have to work 76 hours a week to not pay a third of their income for housing. The current minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25.

"Oh, I believe they can if they utilize their, put their priorities in the right place and quit smoking and drinking and put their money into a house," said Jackson resident Nancy Cannedy.

"I've worked minimum wage jobs where both of us were working minimum wage jobs and had a rough time with one bedroom apartment," Samantha Oliver also of Jackson.

Republican members on a house subcommittee today voted to kill a Democrat-sponsored bill that would have established a Tennessee state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour for employees of companies that do not provide health care insurance.
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