A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream

A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream

Nearly a third (31 percent) of all Californians and almost half (47 percent) of the state’s workers are "working poor," a report commissioned from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) by the James Irvine Foundation finds. Based on the institute's 2018 California Workers Survey of more than thirty-three hundred California residents, the report, A Renewed Struggle for the American Dream (64 pages, PDF), found that 60 percent of Californians who are working yet struggling with poverty are Latino; that 68 percent of workers in the San Joaquin Valley, 56 percent of those in the Central Coast region, and 56 percent of those in the Sacramento Valley are struggling with poverty; and that 47 percent of Californians believe the American dream — that if you work hard you will get ahead — still holds true today. The report also found that a majority (54 percent) of Californians, including 65 percent of the working poor, believe that hard work and determination are no guarantee of success in life; that 53 percent of the working poor agree that there is not much they can do to improve their working conditions; and that nearly 80 percent agree that it is important for workers to organize so that employers do not take advantage of them. struggling to report participating in the gig economy (17 percent vs. 9 percent) and that 48 percent of those working in the gig economy were poor.

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