The survival of a city depends on at least three things: people who are willing to live and work together, a reasonably healthy economy, and an effectively organized government. This paper discusses the health of LA's economy, how it got the way it is, and what can be done about it.
Los Angeles has been a path breaker in setting increasingly ambitious environmental goals and introducing innovative technologies to achieve those goals. The City commissioned this study to investigate the job opportunities that would result from becoming a center of production for “green” goods and services that provide renewable or less-polluting sources of energy, and help reduce pollutants from our existing industrial base, transportation infrastructure, and residential communities.
Los Angeles was home to 4.0 million people and 1.9 million workers were employed in establishments within city boundaries in 2005. This large metropolitan economy is made up of many diverse geographic and industrial elements. Despite what appears to be a large and robust economy, the workers and employers in Los Angeles still have challenges to overcome.
While the visitor industry is a key economic engine for LA, it’s Lodging industry shows signs of structural weakness. Compared to the size of its visitor economy, LA’s Lodging inventory is only 62 percent of the national average. Compared to other cities with which it competes for tourism spending, LA’s Lodging industry serves a relatively small number of visitors given the size our economy.
There is extensive evidence of a growing informal labor force in Los Angeles City and County, along with stagnant employment in the formal labor market. Between 2000 and 2004, the working age population in the county grew by 4.9 percent, but the number of wage and salary jobs (i.e.,
The City of Los Angeles is challenged to help residents improve their skills and education, and to help employers expand their businesses and provide more sustaining jobs. There are opportunities for meeting this challenge both in the variety and number of industries in Los Angeles that provide promising jobs with good wages.
Policy Questions Covered: How many people are homeless? What services are needed? How much spendable resources do homeless people have? How are housing needs met? Summary of Findings: More effective efforts to help homeless residents re-enter the labor force and obtain public benefits will reduce costs by an estimated 16 percent (cautious to semi-optimistic scenario).
What benefits result from social equity policies mandated for projects of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)? This Economic Roundtable report identifies the potential benefits accrued by tenants, employees and the surrounding neighborhoods of CRA projects that are affected by City and CRA/LA policies.
The informal economy produces legal goods and services that are not effectively regulated. Such activities can give rise to abuses by employers who fail to respect basic labor, safety, immigration, and tax laws, leaving workers without rights. By definition the informal economy is hidden "under the table" and "off the books." However, by comparing different sources of employment data we can identify industries where a significant share of jobs appear to be unreported. Industry characteristics such as worker demographics can also be used as an additional indicator of informal employment.
Over half of Los Angeles County's labor force works in industries that are highly synchronous with the business cycle, with employment changes likely to occur in the same year as business cycle changes. More than one-quarter of the effects of a recession are likely to occur in a secondary wave of lagged employment impacts that occur subsequent to the overall business cycle. In addition to job losses the past two recessions have also seen job growth in some Los Angeles industries. The ratio of job loss to job growth in the downturns was roughly three to one.
The Business Survey 2000 is the seventh annual survey of businesses conducted by the City of Long Beach. The first surveys tracked the hardships faced by businesses emerging from the recession of the early 1990s that hit Long Beach especially hard, due to massive layoffs at the McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) plant.
Earnings of residents who were welfare-to-work participants grew from the fourth quarter of 1994 through the end of 1999. In 1999 it became convincingly evident that earnings had risen above the highest level in these workers’ previous earnings histories. This important news demonstrates that aided workers have made tangible progress toward self-sufficiency. Despite this progress, only 32 percent of residents who were in the labor market for five or more years had earnings above the poverty threshold of $13,424 for a single parent with two children.
The South Bay Economic Adjustment Strategy has been prepared to help elected officials, public sector staff, business leaders, and citizens take coordinated, effective action to recover jobs lost because of defense cutbacks. The strategy has been prepared under a grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment in the Department of Defense that was administered by Los Angeles County’s Community Development Commission.
This report analyzes the impacts of aerospace restructuring on the Gateway Cities. The analysis draws upon Department of Defense contract data bases, local industry employment data, and input-output modeling of the local economy. The Gateways Cities region of Los Angeles County is comprised of twenty-seven cities that have formed their own Council of Governments.
The Economic Roundtable conducted a survey of defense-linked and other high technology firms in Ventura County in February-March 1998. The survey was commissioned by the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. The purpose of the survey was to determine employment and sales trends in defense-related and other high technology firms and changing levels of defense dependency of defense-related firms.
The City of Long Beach and other centers of aerospace production that reaped the rewards of the 1980s defense-spending boom must now confront the realities of restructuring. Since World War II, the Douglas Aircraft plant made Long Beach an important center of the US aerospace industry and dominated the local economy. In 1992, the Long Beach aerospace industry employed 36,100 workers, which was 22 percent of the city's total employment. Almost all of these workers were employed by McDonnell Douglas. Long Beach aerospace workers earned a total payroll of over $1.5 billion, which was 30 percent of the city's total payroll. These figures understate the total impact of aerospace on the Long Beach economy, through linkages with firms in other industries that provide inputs to the aerospace industry, and purchases of goods and services by aerospace workers.
For most working age homeless people, steady employment is the only feasible avenue to economic independence and a better life. In addition to enabling economic self-sufficiency, work constitutes the single most important link most individuals have with society, offering a foundation for reconnection with the larger community.
Long Beach has completed four annual cycles of surveying firms in the City to assess business conditions and needs. A total of 1,532 firms have responded to surveys over the four years and of these, 497 firms have received site visits in which additional information was obtained and referrals made for follow-up City services.
This report studies the impact of defense restructuring in Southeast Los Angeles County (SELAC) and makes recommendations for economic development. Southeast Los Angeles has been the manufacturing core of the Los Angeles region since the 1920s. The subregion suffered the collapse of heavy manufacturing industries such as automobiles, steel, and tires in the 1970s and early 1980s, and is now enduring severe job loss in the restructuring defense sector. Southeast Los Angeles faces immense challenges in overcoming the effects of industrial decline and creating high-quality jobs for its residents. Aerospace firms in the SELAC subregion employed 54,900 workers in 1992, or 35 percent of total county employment in aerospace. Communities in Southeast Los Angeles County have been especially hard-hit by the decline of aerospace and durable manufacturing industries, due to the relatively high concentration of employment in defense-linked industries.
The 1996 Business Survey is the second annual survey of businesses undertaken by the City of Long Beach to guide and strengthen business outreach and retention efforts. The purpose is to Identify the concerns, needs and opportunities of businesses in order to strengthen City programs for supporting Long Beach's economic base and respond to the needs of individual businesses and facilitate access to City services to help firms remain viable and competitive.