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.
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.
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.
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 Economic Roundtable conducted a survey of defense-linked and other high technology firms in Ventura County in February-March 1998. The survey was commissioned by the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. The purpose of the survey was to determine employment and sales trends in defense-related and other high technology firms and changing levels of defense dependency of defense-related firms.
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.
The Employment Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor requested the Economic Roundtable to prepare an expert paper on the guiding concepts that should be used in redesigning the national occupational classification system for capturing information about workers and jobs. The future Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system will be the central source of information for an issue at the heart of the nation's domestic agenda full employment and optimal use of skills for American workers. Occupational classification data is not an end in itself. It is a tool for obtaining answers to questions and solutions to problems that are important for aiding and improving working conditions of our society.
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.
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.