Down and out in Los Angeles County

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With a population of 10 million, a number greater than the population of 42 entire states, Los Angeles County has more high-income families than anywhere in the nation.

It also remains the national poverty capital, with the largest number of poor of any metropolitan area. Presently there are 4-5 job seekers for every job opening in fields where welfare recipients have previously worked, creating nearly insurmountable competition for work. Those fortunate enough to find work but who are on minimum wage, earn far less than the poverty level of $16,450 for a family of four.

Working full-time at $5.75 per hour, a minimum wage worker will only earn $11,690 per year. Also, the earning capacity of many low-income, single parent families places them at risk of long term poverty, given the welfare reform two-year limit of aid.

Source: Department of Public and Social Services, Los Angeles.

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