Low-Wage Earners Struggle to Attain Home Ownership

September 10, 2012

A study shows that most of the new jobs created post-recession have been low-wage jobs, which doesn’t bode well for helping to lift the housing market. 

From the first quarter of 2010 through the first quarter of 2012, low-wage jobs rose 2.7 times faster than mid to higher-wage jobs, according to a study by the National Employment Law Project.

For the study, the advocacy group labeled low-waged jobs as those that pay between $7.69 to $13.83 per hour; mid-waged jobs between $13.84 to $21.11 per hour; and high-waged jobs between $21.14 to $54.55 per hour. 

"The recovery continues to be skewed toward low-wage jobs, reinforcing the rise in inequality and America's deficit of good jobs," noted Annette Bernhardt, the study’s author. "While there's understandably a lot of focus on getting employment back to pre-recession levels, the quality of jobs is rapidly emerging as a second front in the struggling recovery."

As HousingWire notes, a person in the low wage category may earn $20,800 a year and a person in the mid-range income category may bring $28,000 per year.

“Neither salary would put a person in the position of easily affording a home,” a HousingWire article about the study notes. “For the housing market, the quality of jobs percolating throughout the economy is a key factor in deciding whether there are enough potential buyers to maintain home ownership.”

Source: “Higher Pay Drives Home Sales, But Most New Jobs Are Low Wage,” HousingWire (Aug. 31, 2012)