More taxpayer dollars are being spent on homeless housing and services, yet homelessness in Los Angeles County increased 12% last year and chronic homelessness is up 17%. Society needs to do better. Homelessness is an income problem as well as a housing problem — and both need to be addressed to solve L.A.’s homeless crisis.
In major U.S. metropolitan areas, the number of long-term homeless needing housing far exceeds the available housing supply, making it difficult to move persistently homeless individuals off of the streets. One of the most promising approaches to reducing these numbers lies in early identification and quick, effective intervention to help those most likely to become persistently homeless. Two new screening tools from the Economic Roundtable can help the most vulnerable people get access to the public services they need as soon as they become homeless, or even before they are homeless, and reduce the flow of people into chronic homelessness.
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.
Public assistance programs are Los Angeles’s primary interface with individuals experiencing homelessness and can be a catalyst for connecting at-risk and homeless recipients with crucial services and reducing the massive public costs associated with chronic homelessness. The vital role is to identify tripwire events among all recipients, particularly children and transition-age youth, and quickly connect at-risk individuals with needed employment, behavioral health and housing services.
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.
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.
Many runway jobs of baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners at Los Angeles International Airport have been outsourced to labor contractors, resulting in reduced wages and benefits for workers. For a small, incremental cost passed along to passengers, meaningful improvement can be made in the standard of living and health benefits of LAX airside workers, which will spark significant sales and tax multiplier effects for the Los Angeles region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earnings of residents who were welfare-to-work participants grew from the fourth quarter of 1994 through the end of 1999. In 1999 it became convincingly evident that earnings had risen above the highest level in these workers’ previous earnings histories. This important news demonstrates that aided workers have made tangible progress toward self-sufficiency. Despite this progress, only 32 percent of residents who were in the labor market for five or more years had earnings above the poverty threshold of $13,424 for a single parent with two children.
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.