The California Center for Jobs and the Economy has released a report comparing Los Angeles County’s economy with the Bay Area’s growth. Needless to say, Los Angeles doesn’t look good in the comparisons.
Early on, they not that Los Angeles’ economy has been almost unique in not creating jobs:
In their March 2014 report, UCLA Anderson Forecast noted that “L.A. [County] has gone 23 years without positive job growth.” From December 1990 to December 2013, this report showed Los Angeles County was one of only two metropolitan areas in the US to show a decline in its job base, losing 3.1% of Nonfarm Wage & Salary Jobs over this period.
The conclusions are dismal:
Los Angeles presents a trend largely of jobs stagnation under which middle class wage jobs have been steadily replaced by lower wage service jobs for a population that has continued to grow. Rather than reinvent its economy in response to the changing economic conditions as it has in the past, the region instead has reshaped its economic structure with a severe contraction of the middle class wage jobs that long provided new economic opportunities to prior generations.
This decline in middle class wage jobs and the associated growing income divide has led to considerable policy interest in recent years on both the state and local levels. Many of the policy prescriptions to date, however, have been more palliative, responding to the results of growing income inequality and the state’s rising costs of living rather than addressing the root causes.
It’s considered impolite in California to discuss weak job creation. Until Californians have a serious discussion, nothing will change.
(Originally published on my personal blog 5-16-2015)