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.
The St. Joseph Family Center provides basic supportive services to low-income families in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, and adjacent neighborhoods in Los Angeles. These services include a food pantry, emergency shelter, educational and tutoring programs, employment services, and counseling and case management. Most Family Center clients are recent immigrants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This study examines how firms, workers, and regional economic development institution are dealing with the severe effects of defense downsizing in the Los Angeles region. Between 1988 and 1994 the Los Angeles region lost 127,000 jobs in defense-related industries, including aircraft, missiles, instruments, and electronics. The long economic slump set off by defense cuts has incited a major debate between the advocates of regional institution building and proactive economic development and those arguing for the laissez-faire approach of reducing taxes, wages, and environmental costs.
SYNOPSIS Purpose The 1994 Business Survey was initiated by the City of Long Beach to guide and strengthen its business outreach and retention efforts. Technical guidance, data analysis, and report preparation was carried out by the Economic Roundtable. The purpose was to: Identify the concerns, needs and opportunities of businesses in order to strengthen City programs for supporting Long Beach’s economic base.
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 survey of industry perceptions of defense conversion in the Los Angeles region followed two years after the bench mark survey of aerospace firms conducted to prepare the “Economic Adjustment Strategy for Defense Reductions.” The purpose was to explore such questions as: Are aerospace firms in the greater Los Angeles region becoming less dependent on defense contracts?