Life's Basics More of a Stretch Low-wage workers, like Regino Romero, are struggling to pay the bills and raise a family in an economy that has left them behind.
Poll results
tag cloud The top ten answers respondents gave when asked to describe their financial situation in one word.Full Results (PDF) | Take the poll » On Faith: Panelists on the role of religion.
Lead Story

Struggling to Make Ends Meet

Regino Romero, who has worked as a chef for 14 years, spends every day trying to balance paying the bills with ensuring his three children get what they need to succeed. Watch the Video »
Live Discussion
Hurt and Hope Among Low-Wage Workers National economics reporter Mike Fletcher and polling director Jon Cohen were online Monday, August 4 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss The Washington Post's ongoing series on low-wage workers.
The Washington Post, in partnership with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University conducted a poll of 1,350 randomly selected low-wage workers nationwide.Read More »
About the series
The Washington Post is examining the plight of low-wage workers, who have been hardest hit by both the ongoing economic downturn and the larger forces of the new economy. A national poll of 1,350 low-wage workers found that they have endured stagnant wages, pervasive job losses and growing fiscal uncertainty. Yet, most remain hopeful about the future.

After a story drawing a portrait of low-wage workers, the series will zoom in on the survey's major findings over the coming weeks.
Part One: Overview
Hovering Above Poverty, Grasping for Middle Class Battered by rising prices and pervasive job losses, low-wage workers are increasingly insecure, yet a majority of them somehow remain optimistic about what the future will hold. Read More » Video: Interpreting the Results | Take the Poll Graphics: Highlights From the Poll | Full Results (PDF) Behind the Numbers | On Faith: The Role of Religion
Part Two: Politics
Obama Leads, Pessimism Reigns Among Key Group Low-wage workers' politics are partly shaped by their lot in the current economy: Many are insecure about their finances, but many are optimistic about the future even as they express deep suspicion about government. Read More » Graphics: A Skeptical Lot
Part Three: Foreign-Born Workers
Clinging to Dreams of a Better Life Foreign-born low-wage workers are finding it harder to attain economic security in America, but their faith in the "American dream" is still strong. They are more optimistic about the future and more satisfied with their jobs and wages than native-born workers and have even higher hopes for their children. Read More » Gallery: Immigrant Workers Striving For the American Dream
Part Four: Coping
Life's Basics More of a Stretch Low-wage workers, like Regino Romero, are struggling to pay the bills and raise a family in an economy that has left them behind. Read More » Video: Struggling to Make Ends Meet Gallery: Building a Better Life with Less

PRINT | Reporters: Michael A. Fletcher and Jon Cohen; Graphics: Laura Stanton; Photos: Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post
WEB | Editor: Andrea Caumont; Design: Kat Downs; Multimedia: Nelson Hsu; Video: Akira Hakuta --

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