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Tucson ranks as best city in America for minimum wage earners, report says

Paycheck stretches pretty far compared to other cities
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Posted at 3:41 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 17:46:38-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Real Estate Daily News has ranked Tucson as the best city in America for minimum wage earners in a recent report.

According to data collected through and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, it beat Phoenix and Mesa.

These figures bumped Tucson to the top of the list for those working minimum-wage jobs:

  • Median annual rent of $7,188
  • Annual utilities cost of $1,733.16
  • Annual grocery cost of $3,132.84
  • Annual transportation cost of $504
  • Yearly minimum wage salary of $20,800

This leaves the average local with an estimated annual surplus of about $8,700.

The real-estate based website found America's top 10 cities for realistically surviving off of a minimum wage check are:

  1. Tucson, Ariz.
  2. Fresno, Calif.
  3. Mesa, Ariz.
  4. Toledo, Ohio
  5. Detroit, Mich.
  6. Buffalo, N.Y.
  7. Phoenix, Ariz.
  8. Omaha, Neb.
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Albuquerque, N.M.

However, the study admits these numbers don't take into account state or federal taxes. The data also assumes an employee will work 40 hours per week for 52 weeks.

Nevertheless, it alleges how realistic it is to live in Tucson, and why it's the city in Arizona where a paycheck stretches furthest.

Caleb Fernández is a digital content producer for KGUN 9. After earning his bachelor's degree from Penn State in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went to New York where he learned production assistance, photography and art direction. Share your story ideas and important issues with Caleb by emailing or by connecting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.