Los Angeles County is projected to add 133,000 jobs over the next five years, led by health services and administrative support jobs, according to a report to be issued Thursday.
The report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. for the Southern California Association of Governments’ annual economic summit on Thursday, projects that by 2021, the county will have nearly 4.6 million nonfarm payroll jobs, up from today’s 4.4 million. But the job growth rate is projected to be quite modest at 0.7 percent, well under the average annual growth rate of the past five years of between 1 and 2 percent.
“As unemployment decreases, the labor market tightens which slows down job growth,” LAEDC economist Somjita Mitra said in an email. “We are seeing positive job growth which means we are still headed in the right direction.
But the report said the greatest growth in jobs will take place in the low-skill, low-wage sectors such as restaurant servers/baristas or retail clerks. More than half of the job openings will require a high school diploma or less and will pay median wages of less than $30,000 a year.
“Low-wage jobs are being created organically, but these jobs don’t necessarily increase prosperity for our region’s residents,” Mitra said. “And many of the low-wage job categories are under threat of automation in the coming 10 years.”
Health service job openings are projected to grow nearly 6 percent over the next five years, adding roughly 42,000 jobs. The administrative support services segment – which includes temporary employment – is expected to add 29,000 jobs for a growth rate of 10.9 percent. The accommodation/food services sector is projected to add 26,000 jobs, education, 23,000 jobs.
Among the report’s other findings: While the average annual household income have increased in dollar terms from $35,000 in 1990 to $61,000 last year, when adjusted for inflation, they have actually dropped nearly 5 percent. Also, the poverty rate, which peaked in 2012 at 19.1 percent, fell to 16.3 percent last year.
Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.