(SPONSORED) — Inflation is still impacting people across the United States. Here in Colorado, renters are taking the brunt of rising prices. Director of Data-Driven Economic Strategies (DDES) Tatiana Bailey explains why.

Inflation numbers from November compared to 2021 showed a 7.1% increase in prices. Bailey focuses on the component of the CPI that showed the most increases, which is housing.

Bailey speaking specifically to inflation’s impact on rental prices said that Colorado is the 8th most expensive rental market in the country.

She also explains that based on the average rent in Colorado, an individual needs to make $29 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Colorado, the average renter makes about $24 an hour. That individual would need to work 92 hours per week at the state’s higher minimum wage of $12.56 to keep shelter expenses at roughly 30% of their income.

“Most single renters could downgrade to a one-bedroom, but even then, the average renter would have to work 75 hours per week to afford the average apartment in Colorado. This is a serious problem, given that 34% of the Colorado population lives in some type of rented property,” said Bailey.

According to Bailey, Colorado Springs and Pueblo were considered the bargain markets compared to Denver and most ski communities; however, she said this appears to have changed. In Colorado Springs the average renter would need to make a minimum of $25 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom apartment, but the average renter makes $19 per hour. In Pueblo, the average renter would need to make $20 an hour while the average wage is $15 an hour.

The ramifications on the broader economy are significant, explains Bailey. If rents are most of a renter’s income, it’s difficult for them to save up to buy a house or participate in the broader economy. Bailey also said as rents become more out of reach, we lose the ability to attract and retain lower-wage workers.

The good news according to Bailey is higher housing costs usually mean that a place is desirable to live in.