By Henry A.J. Ramos | San Francisco Chronicle

Conventional indicators of economic well-being — the unemployment rate, the rate of economic growth and (despite some recent setbacks) the stock market — suggest that Americans are doing quite well. But the American people know that, for the average person, things are not getting better.

This is particularly true in the Bay Area, notwithstanding popular notions that the tech boom of recent decades has exonerated the region from the hardships facing other parts of the nation.

Many are struggling to hold down multiple jobs at low pay and with diminishing benefits. All are confronting soaring expenses; and most are facing retirement with precious little in the cupboard.

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