Rents are rising far faster than wages, especially in these U.S. cities

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Wages for the typical U.S. worker have surged since the pandemic, but for many Americans those gains are being gobbled up by rising rent.

Rents jumped 30.4% nationwide between 2019 and 2023, while wages during that same period rose 20.2%, according to a recent analysis from online real estate brokers Zillow and StreetEasy. The gap between wage growth and rent increases was widest in large cities, including Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Miami, Phoenix and Tampa.

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Other cities where renters are feeling the pinch include Baltimore, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, New York and San Diego.

Where pay isn’t keeping up with the rent
Between 2019 to 2023, rents across the country have outpaced wages, causing a financial squeeze for many. Renters in Tampa have faced the worst financial crunch, as rents in that city have outpaced wages by 35% during that period.

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Rent soared during the pandemic as demand rose due to Americans fleeing major urban centers and opting for more space away from neighbors in the suburbs and rural areas. Rent is still increasing, housing experts say, although now at a slower pace.

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