Between his layoff as chief financial officer of a steel-plant builder and his hiring on a week-to-week basis at bullet-train maker Alstrom, Paul Fredo, 57, was jobless for nearly two years. During that time, his annual income, which had exceeded $160,000, fell by two-thirds. At Alstrom he earned $200,000 but had no health benefits or paid vacation.
Béatrice de Géa / LAT
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