Twenty-three years ago, Los Angeles exploded with outrage and indignation. Will the city keep its commitments to South LA?
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.
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.
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.
Evaluating the outcomes for 163 hospital patients screened from April 2011 to May 2013 by the 10th Decile Project in Los Angeles, which works with hospitals to identify the 10 percent of homeless patients with the highest public and hospital costs – the 10th decile – and provide immediate services for placing these individuals into permanent supportive housing.
This study extrapolates data about public costs for homelessness in Los Angeles County to clients of three San Francisco Collaborative Courts: Drug Court, Community Justice Center (CJC) and Behavioral Health Court. This information identifies the probable level of engagement by health care providers, public assistance agencies and the jail system in providing services to different cohorts of court clients that are experiencing homelessness. For clients with the most acute problems, who have recurrent encounters with hospitals and jails, information about high public costs associated with homelessness can point the way toward cost-effective investments in housing and supportive services that reduce net public outlays.
Different conditions of body and mind found among homeless adults provide a basis for predicting who will have very high public costs – in the 10th cost decile. This report presents a triage tool developed specifically for use in hospitals or clinics where there is not access to data from other agencies about the use of non-medical public services.
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.
The nation is drawing down thousands of troops from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where they have served the country in difficult, complex and dangerous circumstances. Finding pathways to sustaining employment during a prolonged recession is proving difficult for many post-9/2001 veterans. The skill, purpose and dedication that veterans demonstrated in serving this country at a minimum earns them the right to a fair shot at a job in the civilian labor force.
This data indicators research was created to support planning by the First 5 Southern California Alliance for Learning and Results (SCALAR). It provides multiple county-level indicators of children's health and well being in Southern California.
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.
Inadequate housing takes different forms, all of which are detrimental to the well-being of families and individuals. The most prevalent problem is housing that costs more than households can afford to pay. The causes include a housing inventory that has grown slightly less than the population and renter incomes that have increased much less than the cost of housing.
The triage tool, or crisis indicator, identifies homeless individuals in hospitals and jails who have continuing crises in their lives that create very high public costs. This redesigned tool is four times more accurate than the earlier screening tool released in 2010. The tool is developed for use in jails, hospitals and clinics where homeless individuals with high levels of need and high public costs are most likely to be found. Discovery of the exceptionally high public costs for people in the 10th cost decile has led to interest in identifying these individuals and giving them high priority for access to permanent supportive housing. This group accounts for well over half of all public costs for homeless adults, and their costs decrease by 86 percent when they live in permanent supportive housing.
Counties bear large hidden costs for individuals with disabilities who are indigent or homeless. This includes costs for health care, jails and probation in addition to readily identifiable county costs for public assistance. A large share of this cost is health related – costs that the federal and state governments would pay through Medi-Cal if the individuals were receiving Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).
This study of the Airport Hospitality Enhancement Zone examines the economic impacts of minimum compensation requirements, outcomes from the non-tiered living wage requirement for both tipped and non-tipped hotel workers, and the costs and possible benefits of training for hotel workers. Hotels in the Airport Hospitality Zone are called upon by the City to pay workers a minimum of $10.30 an hour and $1.25 per hour in health benefits, or $11.55 an hour if health benefits are not provided.
The central question investigated in this study is the public costs for people in supportive housing compared to similar people that are homeless. The typical public cost for residents in supportive housing is $605 a month. The typical public cost for similar homeless persons is $2,897, five-times greater than their counterparts that are housed. This remarkable finding demonstrates that practical, tangible public benefits result from providing supportive housing for vulnerable homeless individuals. The stabilizing effect of housing plus supportive care is demonstrated by a 79 percent reduction in public costs for these residents.
Severe overcrowding in Los Angeles rental housing fell 63 percent from 2000 to 2007, the most recent year for which data is available. Only 9 percent of renters are severely overcrowded, with 1.5 or more occupants per room. The bad news is that 58 percent of renters are rent-burdened, paying 30 percent or more of their income for rent.