A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals precarious conditions for workers in California. According to the study, nearly half of California workers — 47 percent — are struggling with poverty. A majority of Californians working and struggling with poverty — 60 percent — are Hispanic.
Reflecting rapid changes in the economy, 11 percent of Californians report participating in the gig economy in the last year, defined as being paid for performing miscellaneous tasks or providing services for others.
Yet, many do not feel secure about their future. Two-thirds of Californians, including 75 percent of workers who are struggling with poverty, say that employers generally see people like them as replaceable. Nearly half—46 percent—of young Californians (ages 18 to 29) say that getting a college education is a risky gamble that may not pay off.
Workers struggling with poverty report being far less active in political and civic affairs than other working Californians. 79 percent of workers struggling with poverty report taking no civic or political actions in the past 12 months, compared to 58 percent of workers who are working but not struggling with poverty.
Nevertheless, contrary to some negative stereotypes, the study found that workers struggling with poverty are more likely than those who are not to say they highly value a number of social and economic goals such as holding a steady job and being involved in a religious community.
Read the rest of the study here .