The disruptive outcome of the presidential election was determined by just 107,000 voters in pivotal states who were disproportionately working class European Americans. Many voted out of the pain of their economic misfortune as decent jobs dwindle along with prospects for material security and dignity. In most parts of the U.S.,
Cities that have come of age are able to make decisions that shape their own future and safeguard their own well-being. One critical measure of Los Angeles’ standing is its capability to taking actions that influence the economy in ways that help residents earn sustaining livelihoods.
The number of jobs in L.A.’s formal economy has stagnated since 1990, while the population has grown 15 percent. One of the consequences is that L.A. had a poverty rate of 16.6 percent in 2015, compared to the national average of 14.7 percent. Creating jobs is different than redistributing existing jobs, as when one restaurant closes and another opens, or providing more equitable access to existing jobs – an important objective, but different than job growth.
San José, California's third most populous city, regulates rent increases for older apartment units through its Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO). To help inform policy deliberations by the San José City Council and Housing Department staff, this report analyzes demographic characteristics of ARO tenants, characteristics of ARO apartments, compares ARO allowable rents increases with Rent Stabilization Ordinances in other cities, analyzes the debt-service pass-through, and financial outcomes of ARO rental properties.
Over 54,000 workers employed in Long Beach’s formal economy will be affected by increasing the minimum wage to $15. The annual earnings of workers will increase by about $405 million. The largest share of increased wages—almost $130 million—will go to workers who also live in the City of Long Beach The greatest number of affected workers and the largest payroll increases will be in restaurants, retail trade, education, transportation and warehousing, and health care. The economic stimulus from increased consumption by workers' households will create an estimated 3,186 new jobs and generate $442 million in increased sales in the region.
Street vending is a $504 million industry in Los Angeles. Every year, 50,000 microbusinesses set up shop on the sidewalks of the city, according to the Bureau of Street Services. Three-quarters sell merchandise, such as clothing and cell phone accessories. The other 10,000 sell bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tamales, and ice cream, street food for which Los Angeles is famous.
One out of four restaurant workers in Los Angeles lives in poverty. A raise in minimum wage that includes tipped workers will save taxpayers on public assistance programs.
Most California school employees in classified positions such as teacher assistants, childcare workers, janitors, and office clerks struggle to support their families with incomes that are often inadequate to pay for food, housing and health care. The median annual earnings of classified workers in 2012 was only $20,700, well below self-sufficiency standards.
A raise to $15.25 by 2019 is an investment in Los Angeles. Dollars earned by minimum wage workers will be spent locally, thereby growing our city.
Raising L.A.'s minimum wage to $15.25 per hour will put $5.9 billion new dollars into the pockets of workers and families, and provide stimulus benefits for under-invested communities. Paying fair wages is an adjustment for some businesses, but the result is a bigger, more sustainable, and more inclusive economy for Los Angeles.
Economic Roundtable mapped the locations of street vendors and brick and mortar retail and restaurants in Los Angeles. What we found was surprising.
We at Economic Roundtable are excited to launch our new blog, Seeds of Change, alongside our redesigned website. The title is a reference to the tree of knowledge in our logo, symbolized in Los Angeles by the Wisdom Tree atop Cahuenga Peak. The lone pine tree sits on its perch overlooking the city from its vantage point close to the Hollywood sign.
Recent rains in Southern California are a welcome change amid the ongoing drought affecting the region. Each week sees a little more rainfall, sometimes in brief torrents that wake you at night, and others in slow, steady drizzle that last all day. A challenge for the state — and for water-guzzling Los Angeles in particular — is to capture and store that water today for use during the dry days, weeks and months ahead.
Construction is a $152 billion industry in California, employing 895,000 workers. One out of six construction workers in the Golden State, that is 143,900, sank into the informal economy in 2011. Informal construction workers earn about half of what their formal counterparts bring home and their households are three times more likely to live in poverty.
A $15.37 minimum wage for Los Angeles hotels with 100 or more rooms would affect over 5,000 low-wage hotel workers, including housekeepers, janitors, banquet servers, bellhops and desk clerks. The twenty year trend for hotel growth and rising hotel occupancy and revenue support the finding that the proposed new minimum wage is feasible for the hotel industry in Los Angeles.
America has lost ground on the intent declared by Congress when the Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted in 1938, that workers will receive wages sufficient to maintain "the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being." The federal minimum wage had the greatest value in 1968. Set at $1.60 an hour, it had a value of $10.51 in 2012 dollars. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is worth 31 percent less. This wage attrition is part of most people's everyday experience. Three-quarters of the full-time labor force residing in the City of Los Angeles earn less than comparable workers 30 years ago.
The 25¢ coin that was minted in 2005 to commemorate California shows John Muir admiring the granite walls of Yosemite. Mariposa County is home to Yosemite, one of the most beloved places in California. This study explores the economic well-being of county residents and strategies for providing sustaining jobs for the resident labor force.
New development solves housing problems for some workers by creating new jobs that pay sustaining wages. At the same time, it creates additional demand for affordable housing because some of the workers who will be employed will not earn enough money to afford market-rate rental housing. This report analyzes a possible affordable housing benefit fee for new development in Los Angeles. If approved, this fee would recover a portion of the public cost for meeting the demand for affordable housing that results from new development.
Many runway jobs of baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners at Los Angeles International Airport have been outsourced to labor contractors, resulting in reduced wages and benefits for workers. For a small, incremental cost passed along to passengers, meaningful improvement can be made in the standard of living and health benefits of LAX airside workers, which will spark significant sales and tax multiplier effects for the Los Angeles region.
Unemployment and underemployment currently represent $25.8 billion in annual wages not earned in Los Angeles County, $28.2 billion in lost private sector economic activity and $4 billion in tax revenue not generated. Over a fifth of Los Angeles County’s labor force is unemployed or underemployed. Over a third of the county’s population lives in a household where one or more breadwinners are under-employed.