If you live in a big city, you know it’s nigh impossible to live in or near the neighborhood where you work. And with salary increases flat, rents on the rise nationwide, and a significant housing shortage making it more difficult to buy, many people are getting pushed even further out from their jobs.
Randstad USA and Apartment Guide surveyed 1,211 American workers between 18 and 45 (both homeowners and renters alike) about how increasing costs of living affect where and how they work and live – and how commuting eats into their quality of life.
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It’s especially hard on younger workers. For example, 43% of Gen Z workers can’t afford to live near where they work. And half of Generation Z workers said they’re padding their income with second jobs due to living expenses, compared to 28% of workers overall.
Among all respondents, 44% said their mortgage, rent, household utilities, and other living expenses were rising faster than their annual salaries each year. A full 42% said they’d need to earn at least $60,000 a year to stay in their desired neighborhood.
Perhaps that explains the rise in roommates. It seems that if you’re not a roommate, you’re not a subletter, trying to make ends meet: 39% of house renters, 38% of room renters and 33% of apartment renters had at least one roommate to make ends meet. And one in five said they needed more than one roommate in order to afford their rent.
To be sure, if you’re living further and further out from your job, your commute takes a bite out of your life. A quarter (24%) of all workers surveyed say they live far from their jobs because they can’t afford to live nearby; that number increased to 43% for Gen Z workers.
As previously documented, everybody hates their commute. While about a quarter (27%) said their commute negatively affected their mood, that number nearly doubled for Gen Z (42%).
But drive safely! A third (32%) tried to work through their morning drive in, fielding emails, calls, and texts while in traffic. Shockingly, 33% of Gen Z workers reported getting into an accident while checking work emails while driving.
And between commuting and working, many felt like they didn’t have time for a social life. Over a third (37%) felt that their commute limited their time to do things like going to the gym, see friends and family, and practice their hobbies. And 30% often skipped out on social or work events after-hours because of the reality of a long commute home after.