The Port Authority that oversees LaGuardia, the John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty international airports is considering a proposal that would raise the minimum wage for 40,000 low wage workers at regional airports to $19 per hour by 2023. If passed, it will create the highest publicly mandated minimum wage in the nation and will deeply impact local communities. An economic stimulus is projected in the communities where workers live. Their increased household spending is projected to increase economic output by over $465 million in 2023 and every year thereafter, creating 2,700 new jobs.
Disneyland Resort is the most iconic theme park in the world. Disney’s best-known characters are present in the park and woven into America’s national culture, recognized and celebrated around the world. People share more photographs from their visits to Disneyland than from any other place in the world, making it the most Instagrammed location on earth. However, employees report high instances of homelessness, food insecurity, ever-shifting work schedules, extra-long commutes, and low wages.
Creating a $15 minimum wage at U.S. airports will provide transformative economic benefits for low-paid air transportation employees who work 24-7 in a fast-paced, noisy environment, providing essential services for airlines and the traveling public. The $15 wage will also generate job growth in businesses where airport workers spend their wages, lift many out of poverty, reduce dependence on public assistance, and boost tax revenues that pay for crucial government services.
Over 54,000 workers employed in Long Beach’s formal economy will be affected by increasing the minimum wage to $15. The annual earnings of workers will increase by about $405 million. The largest share of increased wages—almost $130 million—will go to workers who also live in the City of Long Beach The greatest number of affected workers and the largest payroll increases will be in restaurants, retail trade, education, transportation and warehousing, and health care. The economic stimulus from increased consumption by workers' households will create an estimated 3,186 new jobs and generate $442 million in increased sales in the region.
Street vending is a $504 million industry in Los Angeles. Every year, 50,000 microbusinesses set up shop on the sidewalks of the city, according to the Bureau of Street Services. Three-quarters sell merchandise, such as clothing and cell phone accessories. The other 10,000 sell bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tamales, and ice cream, street food for which Los Angeles is famous.
This report identifies the characteristics of the most vulnerable, distressed and costly homeless residents of Santa Clara County to guide strategies for stabilizing their lives through housing and supportive services, improving their wellbeing and reducing public costs for their care. The county spent $520 million a year providing services for homeless residents over the six years covered by this study. Costs are heavily skewed toward a comparatively small number of frequent users of public and medical services. Individuals with costs in the top 5% accounted for 47 percent of all costs and had average costs of over $100,000 per year.
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.
Raising L.A.'s minimum wage to $15.25 per hour will put $5.9 billion new dollars into the pockets of workers and families, and provide stimulus benefits for under-invested communities. Paying fair wages is an adjustment for some businesses, but the result is a bigger, more sustainable, and more inclusive economy for Los Angeles.
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.
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.
At the peak of California’s most recent drought in 2009, the Los Angeles economy was in severe recession, with unemployment above 12 percent. These twin crises identified a policy opportunity to tackle both challenges together. Public investments in water use efficiency provide economic and job benefits alongside the environmental benefits from using less water.
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).
The most concrete characteristic of a recession is that demand disappears for some of the commodities produced by workers and unwanted unemployment is imposed on a large segment of the labor force. With growing job losses in the current recession it is important to know, whose boat falls when the economic tide recedes?
There are at least three reasons why it has become important for Los Angeles to exert purposeful influence on its own economic trajectory: 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.
We estimate that $1.1 billion in economic impacts generated by city purchases occur outside of Los Angeles County. There are opportunities to implement import substitution strategies to increase Los Angeles’ share of beneficial economic impacts from city purchases. Import substitution strategies will be most beneficial if they help build growth momentum for industries that are beneficial to Los Angeles.
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 formal economy) declined by 2.3 percent.
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.
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.