Renters Job Hunting for Higher Income to Afford Housing

Job candidates sitting in a lobby waiting for an interview

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The average price of rent has risen sharply during the pandemic. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment rent climbed 8.3% nationwide between July 2020 and July 2021. The average price of a two-bedroom apartment increased by 8% during that same period, according to a survey from of about 1,250 consumers.

To help offset the higher prices, some renters are looking to split the expenses between a larger group of people. Nearly a third of renters say they have combined households during the pandemic or 11% plan to in the future to try to cut costs. Some renters have moved in with family or welcomed family into their home to help with higher costs too.

Many renters are also looking for higher earnings to be able to more comfortably afford the higher rents. Slightly more than half of the survey respondents—51.2%—said they plan to look for a new job this year or next year, according to the survey. They cited the cost of housing as a major decision for wanting to switch jobs.

Housing expenses survey chart

More than half—54.7%—of renters in homes with a household income of $49,999 or less said they planned to find a new job to help cover housing expenses, the survey finds. An additional 47% of workers in households that earn between $50,000 to $99,000 annually and 52.1% of renters in households with earnings between $100,000 and $149,999 a year also said they planned to get a new job to help pay for housing costs.

Many renters also reported exploring part-time jobs or gig work to help pay the bills.