From City Limits:
Queens resident Roberto Garcia hasn’t been able to find regular work since autumn, when he was laid off by a contractor. Instead of standing in an unemployment line, he stands at a day laborer hiring site. Like thousands of other workers in New York City, Garcia is undocumented – but that didn't keep him from receiving steady work before the economy sank. Now, his career in an underground economy is mirrored by unemployment in the shadows.
While last week the city’s official unemployment rate reached a troubling 8.1 percent, indicators suggest that the population without working papers is faring even worse. The desperation can be particularly felt at day laborer sites in Woodside, Queens where Garcia stands with dozens of others competing for low-skilled jobs in construction, carpentry, moving and cleaning. They used to get picked up for day jobs – but now they just keep waiting. The lack of work has led some to become homeless.