This report provides an overview of the state of work in the Inland Empire region of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, an area that accounts for one of every 9 California residents. The region has added over 300,000 jobs since the peak of unemployment in July 2010, with logistics and healthcare driving much of the gains. At the same time, only about 4 in 10 jobs pay enough for working families to make ends meet. This problem is particularly acute for communities of color, a majority of the region’s workforce.
Improving earnings, benefits, and job stability for workers in the Inland Empire would not only help families in poverty, it would also increase consumer spending and local revenues, creating positive ripple effects for the entire regional economy.
Sandra is a homecare provider through California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program and a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2015. Prior to becoming a homecare provider, Sandra was a single parent and a manager at a company and volunteered at a homeless shelter, where her mother worked as a cook for 18 years. When her mother fell sick, Sandra had to stop working as a manager to take care of her mother. The drop in income left Sandra and her without a house and dependent on the charity of others.
Anna has worked as a customer service associate for a restaurant and a retail clothing store. In both occupations, Anna recalls her jobs as low-wage and extremely challenging. As she explains, “The management was terrible. The way situations were handled and overlooked... Management just didn’t care.” While she worked at the restaurant, she never received overtime pay, even though, at times, she had to work overtime hours.
Marissa has worked for more than 5 years as a Peer Educator and even longer in the Coachella Valley Unified School District. Marissa’s current job entails working with elementary school students with moderate to severe disabilities. This work can be very challenging and emotionally exhausting.