- The population has grown steadily but the number of jobs in the formal economy, where employers comply with labor law, is still below the level of 1990.
- The underground economy, operating outside the reach of government regulation, has become LA’s growth engine.
- Incomes are deeply polarized – a quarter of the labor force is working poor.
We should envision an economic strategy as:
- A comprehensive plan to provide sustainable employment for residents
- A long-term, fact-based plan for community and regional industry growth
- Not just project-specific development, although this is important
How public risks in investing economic development or job training funds in an industry be weighed against potential benefits that might result from those investments?
- Seven critical questions can be asked to assess the level of risk for public funds
- Fifteen public tools, ranging from very cautious to very aggressive, can be employed based on the level of risk in an industry
- A matrix matching risk levels with public strategies identifies types of public engagement that may be prudent given the risks and opportunities an industry presents for producing labor market benefits
At best Los Angeles will give gentle nudges to its economy. Its challenge is to achieve a discernible and constructive impact on the economy.