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Many California families struggle to pay for basics, study says

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Many Californian families struggle to make ends meet and cover basic needs like housing and food, according to a study.

The California Budget Project, a nonpartisan research group, drilled down into how much a family in the Golden State must earn in order to cover everyday necessities.

A family of four with two children and one working parent, for example, needs an annual income of $60,771, or an hourly wage of $29.22, the study found. That is much more than the median statewide wage of $19.02 last year.

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A single parent with two children requires an annual salary of $74,477, reflecting more money paid toward childcare. That translates into a pay of $35.81 an hour. And a single adult needs $32,625 a year, or $15.69 an hour.

"When you look at what it takes to cover day-to-day necessities in California, it's clear that our economy is not meeting the needs of many workers and families across the state," said Luke Reidenbach, a policy analyst and author of the report.

The study pointed to expensive housing, high childcare costs and rising healthcare expenses as big reasons why California families struggle from paycheck to paycheck.

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For two children, childcare costs on average more than $1,100 a month. Last year, nearly one-third of households in the state spent at least half their income on rent.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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