Why aren’t more welfare parents becoming economically self-sufficient after participating in the LA County Welfare to Work Program, GAIN (Greater Avenue for Independence)? What has happened to these parents since entering the labor market after GAIN? The answers to these and other questions are presented in “Prisoners of Hope,” a report originally requested by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on December 19, 2000.
How do people change their lives? What kinds of help do working poor parents need to lift their families out of poverty? What obstacles do they face in trying to get a sustaining job? More than eight thousand people answered these questions through a survey undertaken to learn directly from working welfare parents and other poor families about the problems they face and the kinds of help they need to become self-sufficient.
This briefing paper reports on business recovery in buildings damaged during the 1992 civil unrest, the availability of jobs in different areas of Los Angeles, and changes in South Los Angeles’ industry base since 1992. Where were buildings damaged during the civil unrest located? Most buildings damaged during the civil unrest were located on commercial streets in high poverty neighborhoods in South Los Angeles.
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.
In his 1963 letter from the Birmingham jail Martin Luther King, Jr. described the despair of people “smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society.” It is important to understand the extent to which this image of entrapment still describes the wage-earning lives of the working poor as they try to support their families.
A special census of Santa Monica’s homeless population was carried out on Wednesday, October 27, 1999. Homeless residents were defined as individuals who did not have a regular place of their own where they could sleep. The Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit research organization, planned and coordinated the count under a contract from the City of Santa Monica.
The loss of a welfare safety net for most adults for most of their lives makes the quality of jobs available to the working poor and their success in finding and keeping jobs increasingly important. The economic and civic life of the Los Angeles region will be shaped by connections that are made, or fail to be made, between the growing ranks of working poor and opportunities for steady, sustaining, productive employment.
Welfare reform raises the prickly question of what mix of understanding, support and pragmatic pressure is needed to move welfare recipients into employment. Many workers are scrambling to keep the wolf from their own doors in the face of industry restructuring, rapid technological change, and intense pressures to increase corporate profits.
Recent welfare reform legislation mandates that aid recipients become employed and economically self-sufficient. The allowable interval of continuous assistance is limited to 24 months for current recipients and 18 months for new recipients, with a lifetime limit of five years on welfare. At least 150,000 current welfare recipients in Los Angeles County must move into the workforce, securing at least partial employment by December 1999.
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.
The Employment Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor requested the Economic Roundtable to prepare an expert paper on the guiding concepts that should be used in redesigning the national occupational classification system for capturing information about workers and jobs. The future Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system will be the central source of information for an issue at the heart of the nation's domestic agenda full employment and optimal use of skills for American workers. Occupational classification data is not an end in itself. It is a tool for obtaining answers to questions and solutions to problems that are important for aiding and improving working conditions of our society.
SYNOPSIS Lack of jobs for California’s labor force has growing costs in the form of poverty, welfare, homelessness, sickness, crime, and diminished futures for the state’s children. The Southern California Inter-University Consortium on Homelessness and Poverty has prepared this report to provide objective information about the broadly shared interest of California residents in reducing the social and personal costs of poverty and welfare.
Synopsis This assessment of community needs was conducted under the auspices of the City of West Hollywood to ensure that human services meet the evolving needs of community residents. The primary data sources include a telephone and mail survey conducted specifically for this report, and a series of focus group discussions with residents of West Hollywood.
SYNOPSIS This report assesses the viability increasing access of South-Central Los Angeles residents, particularly young, Black residents, to employment opportunities in building trades and the construction industry. Information from this analysis indicates that African American residents of South-Central Los Angeles do not participate equally in employment opportunities in the construction industry.
Synopsis The charter for this study was to put forward a vision to support emergence of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) from its current status as a little known, under-utilized system into its intended role as the central framework for integrating national occupational information. This analysis of the SOC was prepared for the Employment Training Administration and Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.
SYNOPSIS This is the second annual report of the Los Angeles State/Local Cooperative Information Project, an annual survey of selected occupations in the Los Angeles Area. The Economic Roundtable prepared this report for the Los Angeles County Private Industry Council, with the assistance of the California State Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division.
SYNOPSIS This is the first year report of the Los Angeles state/local cooperative labor market information project, an annual employer survey of selected occupations in the Los Angeles Area. Staff of the Los Angeles County Private Industry Council prepared the material, with the assistance of the California State Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division.