James Witt stands next to the foundation of a house he is building in Palo Alto. Witt has built a successful business by tearing down and rebuilding houses in Silicon Valley. Cindy Carpien/NPR hide caption

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Day laborer Yohanni Castillo from Honduras waits for work outside a Lowes home improvement store in New Orleans. Jobs are drying up, he says, and he hasn't worked in four days. Even when work does comes along, he says, he doesn't always get paid. Richard Gonzales/NPR hide caption

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Police break up an encampment for an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Oakland, Calif. Police began clearing out the weeks-old encampment early Monday after issuing several warnings to demonstrators. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

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Billings, Mont., has a diverse economic base, as evidenced by the confluence of stockyards, oil refineries and natural beauty. The unemployment rate for Billings' Yellowstone County was 5.3 percent in September, far lower than the national average. Richard Gonzales/NPR hide caption

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Starting Oct. 1, California state prisons will redirect new nonviolent felons to county facilities. The realignment is in part due to an order by the U.S. Supreme Court for the state to reduce its prison population. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Catwalks hang over a section of the newly constructed eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in Oakland, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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