The economic recovery in Los Angeles has been uneven and lags behind the rest of the state and nation, according to a report to be released this morning by Beacon Economics and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
The report, released as part of the chamber’s annual Los Angeles City Hall lobbying day, says the unemployment rate in the city of Los Angeles has remained stubbornly high. At 9.2 percent, it’s more than three percentage points above the national average.
The high unemployment rate came despite 1.3 percent growth last year in employer payrolls to 1.56 million jobs in the city. Private sector employment grew even faster, at 1.8 percent, to 1.32 million jobs.
Fourteen of Los Angeles’15 council districts recorded private sector payroll job growth; the one exception was in the Westside district 11, which includes West Los Angeles, Venice and the area around Los Angeles International Airport. The transportation and warehousing sector in that district was hit hard, with employment plunging 4.6 percent, more than offsetting growth of tech companies in the district.
For the second year in a row, council district 8 in South Los Angeles ranked tops in job growth, gaining 900 jobs for a growth rate of 4.2 percent.
But while the number of jobs grew, average wages in Los Angeles fell 1.2 percent last year, according to the report, a fact that’s provided ammunition for proponents of raising the city’s minimum wage. Last week, the City Council approved a hike in the minimum wage to $15.37 an hour for nonunion hotels with more than 150 rooms. Mayor Eric Garcetti has also put forward a proposal to raise the minimum wage citywide to $13.25 an hour by 2017.
The chamber plans to use the report as it lobbies city officials to pursue policies that promote job growth. Among the chamber’s top priorities: phasing out the gross receipts tax, continuing the modernization of Los Angeles International Airport and building more affordable and market-rate housing.
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