Low-paid workers are slogging for the equivalent of a morning per day just to cover the cost of their rent, according to Shelter.
The housing charity's analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) earnings figures suggests people in this income group in the UK would have to work for 15 hours of their working week just to cover their rent costs - equating to a morning a day.
It said that with private rents "sky high", full-time workers on a low wage face shelling out 44% of their income to live in a typical one-bedroom home.
People in this group tend to earn between £16,000 and £23,000 a year, including those working as hairdressers, security guards, factory workers, care home staff and fitness instructors among others, Shelter said.
Anne Baxendale, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: "Colossal amounts of people's time and money are being snatched away by eye-watering rents, which is a kick in the teeth when they are toiling so hard for their futures.
"With such a huge chunk of their salaries spent on keeping a roof over their heads, many are forced to dip into savings or are getting into debt to cover other essentials and stay afloat.
"The next government can make a real difference by building half a million new living rent homes for ordinary working people and families. This will give them the chance for a far stronger future, instead of being left to scrape by."