California residents need more unemployment assistance. A new survey from Clever Real Estate shows that six major metros in California are unlivable on the current unemployment insurance. Those markets include Los Angeles, Oxnard, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. In some of these markets, residents couldn't even live in a studio apartment on the current unemployment coverage, and would need an additional $1,100 per month.

"California in general is really expensive—the state's cost of living is 150% of average—but the unemployment insurance is pretty middle-of-the-road. Therefore, many people on unemployment insurance in California can't afford even a studio apartment on state-funded benefits," Francesca Ortegren, a data scientist at Clever Real Estate, tells "Additional unemployment insurance could go a long way to helping people pay for necessities."

During the beginning of the pandemic, unemployment benefits through the CARES act provided $600 per week in addition to state benefits. That benefit expired at the end of July, and has been replaced by a temporary $300 weekly additional benefit. Still, this is not enough for California residents. "While the additional $300 weekly lost wages assistance could help offset some costs, it's still not enough to cover a 2-bedroom apartment in most SoCal areas: LA at $-471, Oxnard at $-376, and San Diego at $-504 still come in short while those in the Riverside area are in the black at $335," says Ortegren.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.