service-workersWe can’t really live without them

The majority of Marin’s workforce doesn’t live here. It costs too much.

What do Marin workers do? How much do they earn? Service businesses are the main industries and the fastest-growing segment of Marin’s economy– guest and food services, retail, education, health care, social assistance, and others. The average salaries in Marin’s service sector are relatively low.

In June 2015, the average monthly rental in Marin was $2,456.Economists generally agree that families who pay more than 30% of their income for housing are likely to have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

Based on this standard,a household would need to earn $8,187 per month or $98,240 per year to afford the average rental in Marin. More than half of the people whose jobs are in Marin – over 45,000 workers – make less than $40,000 per year. They can’t afford to live here. So they in-commute, contributing to our clogged freeways and untenable commute times for everyone.

service-worker-salariesThe service sector is vital to our quality of life. Increased housing opportunities for people who work here would:

  • Assure that vital health services will be available as we age.
  • Strengthen local businesses with a larger work pool, less employee turnover, and
  • more local customers.
  • Lead to a workforce that’s more invested in Marin, with greater participation in
  • schools, churches, volunteer organizations, and community affairs.
  • Reduce freeway congestion and climate impacts by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

MEHC says local government needs to act on policies to build and support housing for our workforce, close to jobs and transit.