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Report finds day laborers only a small part of work force

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A July 25 report issued by the Public Policy Institute of California has found that day laborers make up only a small percentage of the state work force.

According to “Day Labor in the Golden State,” only about 40,000 people are working or looking for work as day laborers each day in California. That’s only 3% of the state’s total estimated undocumented male work force and only 0.2% of the state’s entire work force.

The report found that more communities in California have taken steps to address the day-labor market than in any other state. More than 50 California communities have ordinances or have tried to enforce laws to eliminate day labor. Twenty-four California communities have formal day-labor work centers, while there are only 21 such centers in the rest of the nation.

According to Arturo Gonzalez, the author of the report and a fellow at the institute, “The issue probably attracts so much public and policy attention because its informal nature means that work is solicited in busy public places—making workers very conspicuous in local communities.”

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