Day Labor Crowd

This was a familiar scene most mornings in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood during the mid-1970s. Day labor agencies were a staple of employment and a beacon of hope for Uptown residents who lived on the economic edge. Note the kids and teenagers in this crowd. I talked to one ex-Uptown resident who said she worked for such an agency when she was as young as 13. She made up to ten dollars per day screwing caps on shampoo bottles. No one ever asked her how old she was and she didn’t tell them. This agency was on Wilson.

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