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 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.
The South Bay Economic Adjustment Strategy has been prepared to help elected officials, public sector staff, business leaders, and citizens take coordinated, effective action to recover jobs lost because of defense cutbacks. The strategy has been prepared under a grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment in the Department of Defense that was administered by Los Angeles County’s Community Development Commission.
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.
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.
Fuel cells are a feasible power system technology for future transit vehicles. The advantages of fuel cells include high efficiency and extremely low vehicle emissions. Progress in fuel cell technology is moving rapidly with limited commercialization expected in this decade. Transit vehicles are a logical first application of fuel cells in transportation. Fundamental to the application of fuel cells to transit is the choice of boarded fuel. Hydrogen and methanol are the favored fuels to store on the vehicle with methanol being converted into a hydrogen rich gas on-board the vehicle. Hydrogen simplifies the fuel cell power plant at the expense of the refueling facility. Methanol simplifies the refueling facility at the expense of the vehicle fuel cell system. Depending on the vehicle mission, range and payload advantages for each fuel can be shown. The total direct and indirect employment created per $1 Billion of demand for fuel cells is 15,157 jobs. Approximately 77% of this employment is found in the manufacturing sector.
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?
Overview The Economic Roundtable merged site-specific 1990 employment and emission data to analyze emissions per job among industries in the South Coast Basin. One use of this analysis is to identify environmentally friendly industries that are potential targets for economic development. The analysis focused on manufacturing industries.
Background An interdisciplinary research team analyzed information about the labor market, economy, industries, and defense linkages of Los Angeles County. The report recommends an economic adjustment strategy to reduce severe job losses projected as a result of cutbacks in defense funding for Los Angeles County industries.