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Study: 1 In 3 Working California Families Struggle To Make Ends Meet

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A new report published by United Ways of California says that one in three working families in the state are struggling to make ends meet.

The report is based on a pre-pandemic study that factored in the cost of food, housing, childcare, healthcare and transportation.

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“Even before the pandemic too many California families struggled financially, and all indications are that the pandemic compounded those pressures, notwithstanding the massive federal and state COVID relief support to families,” the report noted. “While the demographic results of this historic period will not fully reveal themselves for at least two years, United Ways of California will look more closely into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with future Real Cost Measure releases in the years to come.”

The study also found that more than half of California households with children under the age of six struggled to cover their basic needs — a figure that jumped to nearly 80% for single mothers.

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“The overwhelming of these households have a working adult in them,” United Ways of California President and CEO Peter Manzo said. “So the challenge for them isn’t, ‘Hey, get a job.’

“The challenge is income is not enough, work is not enough,” he continued. “So what can we do to either supplement income or reduce costs?”

Closer to home, the study found that 40% of Los Angeles County families — more than 1.1 million households — were having trouble affording basic necessities.

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The full report can be read on United Ways of California’s website.

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