NEW ORLEANS -- There's no doubt it's getting more expensive to live in New Orleans, but a new study puts the Crescent City near the top when it comes to the rise in cost of living.
That study doesn't surprise Elisha Charles.
Charles is a mother to three growing boys in Mid-City where she says the kids are eating her nearly out of house and home. Despite that, her most expensive cost is rent.
"I have to hustle, I'm doing hair, I'm cutting grass I'm doing everything, I'm a jack of all trades," she said.
Even with all that work, and a full-time job in hospitality, she's still not making $62,000 a year.
$62,000 is the income a new study by Gobankingrate.com estimates a household needs to live in New Orleans comfortably. That includes things like rent, utilities, transportation and a little room to save.
But some we talked with today say they barely make enough for what their standard of living costs.
According to Gobankingrate.com, the comfortable amount rose from $60,782 to $62,003. But the median household income in New Orleans isn't even close to that.
"The average in New Orleans is well below 62,000 a year," said Michael Hecht, CEO & President of Greater New Orleans Inc.
His agency tracks growth as well as pay. The median, according to the agency, is about $37,000.
"Our economy is rapidly diversifying," Hecht noted.
Though the economy is shifting, hospitality jobs have a 22 percent lead over all jobs in New Orleans and those jobs don't generally average $60,000 a year. But he says there's a reason to look on the bright side.
"We are still below the national average in overall cost of living," Hecht said.
It may be a good deal, but Elisha Charles says pay just isn't catching up with her family.
"I'm not sure about that; I wish I could get $62,000, I'm far from 62," she said.
From the rankings, Nashville's cost of living is rising the fasted, followed by Seattle. New Orleans rounds out hte top 10.
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