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Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
USA
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April 12, 2015
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Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway

Nearly three-quarters of the people helped by programs geared to the poor are members of a family headed by a worker, according to a new study by the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California. As a result, taxpayers are providing not only support to the poor but also, in effect, a huge subsidy for employers of low-wage workers, from giants like McDonald’s and Walmart to mom-and-pop businesses.

An employee at a McDonald’s store in California last month. The company plans to increase wages for workers at stores that it operates by at least $1 over the local legal minimum wage.McDonald’s to Raise Pay at Outlets It OperatesAPRIL 1, 2015

A backyard scene from 1957. Many Americans sense that they are failing to keep up with the gains of previous generations.A Shifting Middle: Middle Class, but Feeling Economically Insecure APRIL 10, 2015
“This is a hidden cost of low-wage work,” said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the Berkeley center and a co-author of the report.

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