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California's Disneyland may not be the happiest place on earth for cast members: Study
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A study by Economic Roundtable revealed that nearly 75% of the 30,000 California Disneyland workers do not earn enough money to cover basic monthly expenses. As a result, employees reported "high instances of homelessness, food insecurity, ever-shifting work schedules, extra-long commutes, and low wages."
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The average hourly wage for workers dropped 15% from $15.80 to $13.36 between 2000 and 2017, forcing more than 50% of survey respondents to worry about possible eviction. More than half of the workers currently live in overcrowded housing.
It wasn't until 2020 that Disneyland agreed to increase their employees' wages after they went on strike, raising their average hourly wage to $15.45. But it still wasn't enough to cover basic expenses for employees with children and families, according to the study.
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Some Disneyland employees, however, receive paychecks with an average hourly wage as low as $11 an hour.
"After 11 years at the resort, I make $12.02 as my base wage. Why should I drive 30 miles on the 91 and 5 freeways, almost always in heavy traffic, to earn a minimum wage?" said a full-time merchandise host working at Disneyland for the past 11 years.