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Housing Costs May be Affecting Employment Numbers

People quit jobs if they grow discontented, and rising rental costs may be causing some discontent: 51.2% of workers say they plan to look for a new job this year.

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

Renters have adopted different tactics to help offset the higher prices. Some have decided to split expenses between a larger group of people: Nearly one-third of renters say they’ve combined households during the pandemic and 11% plan to in the future. Some renters have moved in with family or welcomed family into their home to help with higher costs.

However, many renters are now looking at the income side of the equation, seeking ways to boost their earnings in order to afford the cost of rising rent. Slightly more than half of the survey respondents – 51.2% – plan to look for a new job this year or next year, according to the Rent.com survey.

They cited the cost of housing as a major decision for wanting to switch jobs.

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. 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 plan to get a new job to help pay for housing costs.

Many renters also say they’re exploring part-time jobs or gig work to help pay the bills.

Source: “More Than Half of Renters Are Looking for a New Job (And Housing Costs Are a Big Reason),” Rent.com (Sept. 17, 2021)

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