Five years ago, the proportion citywide was 31%; today, it is 35%. The share rose in every borough but
which remained static. (One has to wonder if all the low-wage jobs in Queens are truly accounted for.) In the Bronx,
nearly half the working population- 46.8%- have low paying jobs. In Brooklyn, it’s 40%.
If that citywide proportion of low-wage workers- 35%- sounds familiar, perhaps that’s because this is the exact same percentage of rent stabilized households paying more than a third of their income towards rents, as reported in this year’s Income & Affordability study. This is no coincidence- the city is becoming unaffordable to working people, who cannot survive on rising rents and declining wages.
We have a severe mismatch between our jobs and our housing. This problem must be attacked from both sides of the equation- with better jobs and lower rents. This year, the minimum wage rose incrementally. It’s time to take a step forward on housing costs, and end the cycle of ever-rising rents.