LA’s economy is strong — but not for all workers

According to a new economic forecast released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the region’s GDP is growing faster than the nation’s as a whole. Unemployment is below five percent and still declining. And economists project that solid overall growth will continue over the next two years.

But for many workers, the report paints a picture that isn’t so rosy. Those who struggled to find work in the past may now have a job — but not necessarily a stable, well-paying one. Meanwhile, the forecast sees no end in sight for LA’s skyrocketing housing costs.

. . . “The biggest growth has been in low-education, low-wage jobs,” Mitra said. “A lot of the jobs being added, especially in administrative and support services, are temp jobs. There’s a lot of flexibility for businesses, but there’s a lot of insecurity on the side of the workers.”

Since 2007, Los Angeles has lost 111,000 manufacturing jobs that paid a middle class annual salary of about $68,000. In the same period the region gained 86,000 food service jobs paying about $22,000, and 68,000 social assistance jobs paying an average wage of $18,000 per year.

Housing costs have been rising much faster than wages, and are forecast to continue spiraling upwards.

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