Day laborers search for work amid COVID-19

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Day laborers crowd around activists who distribute masks, hand sanitizer and literature about COVID-19 at a Home Depot in Alhambra. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb.

An estimated 40,000 day laborers in California are looking for work every day in parking lots, on street corners, and at hiring centers. Many are feeling the economic effects of COVID-19. They can’t find work or face reduced hours. A majority of day laborers lack legal residency status in the U.S., which means the social safety net is out of their reach.