LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics has released the report, Goods on the Move: Trade and Logistics in Southern California. The report looks at jobs, wages, economic impact, trends, and factors affecting the future of this major regional industry cluster, which directly employs over half a million people in Southern California. The industry continues to grow, with more jobs being added. While average wages for the industry as a whole are above the LA County average, the individual occupations span a wide range of salaries. Warehousing experienced a 55% increase in employment during the past ten years, but salaries in that sector have been trending down, and increasing automation is a factor to watch.
“Following a 3.0% increase in 2014, nonfarm jobs are expected to grow by 2.9% in 2015, and then slow slightly to 2.4% in 2016. The unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in July and is expected to decline to 5.8% in 2016. With further improvements anticipated for the labor market, personal income and total taxable sales should increase by 4.9% and 4.5% respectively this year, with similar or better gains in 2016.”
Region is on track to greet 50 million visitors a year, and these visitors spent more than $18 billion in our economy this year. At the same time, the hospitality and tourism industry also serves our 10 million local residents. Accordingly, the report delineates the two separate components (traded versus local-serving), which are very different in terms of their composition, workforce needs, intermediate purchases and economic impacts — distinctions that have clear implications for how policymakers and stakeholders formulate programs to encourage not only more jobs but also better-paying jobs.
In spite of a long-term decline in manufacturing employment, California maintains a large base of manufacturing capabilities and strengths in a diverse set of manufacturing industries, from food processing and furniture to aerospace and medical devices.