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.
How do people change their lives? What kinds of help do working poor parents need to lift their families out of poverty? What obstacles do they face in trying to get a sustaining job? More than eight thousand people answered these questions through a survey undertaken to learn directly from working welfare parents and other poor families about the problems they face and the kinds of help they need to become self-sufficient.
Over half of Los Angeles County's labor force works in industries that are highly synchronous with the business cycle, with employment changes likely to occur in the same year as business cycle changes. More than one-quarter of the effects of a recession are likely to occur in a secondary wave of lagged employment impacts that occur subsequent to the overall business cycle. In addition to job losses the past two recessions have also seen job growth in some Los Angeles industries. The ratio of job loss to job growth in the downturns was roughly three to one.
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.
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.
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 This report assesses the viability increasing access of South-Central Los Angeles residents, particularly young, Black residents, to employment opportunities in building trades and the construction industry. Information from this analysis indicates that African American residents of South-Central Los Angeles do not participate equally in employment opportunities in the construction industry.