KCBS Cover Story
While Silicon Valley is known for its high tech entrepreneurs who are making millions of dollars, the latest numbers show that the homeless population in San Jose has grown by about 20 percent since 2011. That increase is visibly evident in an area known as “The Jungle”—arguably the largest homeless encampment in the nation.
California’s record drought is affecting just about everyone across the state but the Central Valley’s multibillion-dollar agricultural industry may be experiencing the impact the most.
Summer is here and nowhere is the drought being felt more severely than in California’s Central Valley, where fertile farmland is slowly turning into a dust bowl.
The latest income data shows that about 20 percent of the Bay Area lives in poverty and that figure is rising while local home prices, the stock market, and the incomes of the very rich are soaring to record levels.
As many in their mid-20s enjoy the riches from tech and dot-com companies in Silicon Valley, another section is struggling just to “get by” on their middle-class paychecks.
The Bay Area has the highest median income in the nation and San Francisco has the fastest-growing gap between rich and poor. That economic inequality is on stark display in the very places where the latest technology boom is transforming the city.
The Bay Area is grappling with an accelerating shift in its socioeconomic structure. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle-class is, simply, disappearing. In a five-part Cover Story series, KCBS’ Doug Sovern investigates just how hard it is for working-class people to make a living and how quickly American dream for advancement is slipping away.
While unemployed job seekers in their 20s find if difficult to find work, those in their 50s are finding it nearly impossible. Research by the Federal Reserve in San Francisco finds that older workers, who are in the ranks of the long-term unemployed, have almost no chance of getting hired.
Harlick Skates in San Carlos has been making custom boots for Olympians for decades. 15-year-old Polina Edmunds will be wearing a pair of them on Wednesday when she represents the U.S. in competition.
Some couples have been in the spotlight, fighting for the legalization of same-sex marriage, while others have laid back, living a fairly normal life in the Bay Area.