Maps (above and below) produced by Madeline Brozen, Spatial Analysis Group, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies
LOS ANGELES – Local elected officials join professors from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles Urban League and California Business Roundtable for a discussion about the unbalanced economic recovery in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles.
“The data from UCLA underscores the need for urban economic development,” said Nolan V. Rollins, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League. “Communities throughout Los Angeles are not growing at the same rate and as a result residents in low-income, urban neighborhoods do not have the same opportunities for upward mobility as residents in more wealthy, suburban communities.”
UCLA presented data that revealed Los Angeles dropped from 10th nationally to 46th in terms of per capita personal income since 1969. In comparison, the City of San Francisco held its ranking at 3rd over the same time. The research also found that the City of Los Angeles is losing jobs, nearly 100,000 over 20 years. Over the period of 1990-2010, new jobs added to the metropolitan Los Angeles region were in industries that paid an average wage of $52,840; whereas, jobs lost over the same time period were in industries that paid an average wage of $76,003.
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“It’s clear that the jobs that are coming into the state are paying less than those we are losing,” said Rob Lapsley, President of the California Business Roundtable. “The types of jobs that are leaving are middle income jobs in the manufacturing and production sectors of our economy. The loss of those jobs and the business activity associated with them is creating an even bigger divide between high-income and low-income communities.”
The UCLA data found that most job movement in the Los Angeles region is uneven and that there is much higher employment in the suburbs and surrounding counties than in high poverty inner-city neighborhoods. The research also indicated higher rates of poverty.
“The economic recovery in Los Angeles is a tale of three cities,” said Bill Parent, Associate Dean for Administration, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “There are parts of Los Angeles, on the western and eastern borders, that are recovering nicely, along the lines of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. There are also parts of Los Angeles that have both declining wages and jobs and are headed in the direction of Detroit and Milwaukee. Then, there are parts of Los Angeles showing a persistent third trend: steady employment growth, but only in low-wage jobs.”
The UCLA research concluded that a strong metropolitan economy is the best antidote for community poverty. Strategies to boost per capita income and employment must increase demand for labor, increase the supply of labor with the right skills and focus on traded goods and services. The data found that local economic development policies only affect the economy at the margins. The most important factors for lowering central city poverty are increasing metropolitan per capita personal income and employment.
The forum, which is co-hosted by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, included a panel discussion with:
This discussion is the second in a series of three forums presenting findings from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. The third session, which is scheduled to be held in Sacramento in August, will focus on the impact of regulations and taxes on urban economic development.
Los Angeles Urban League
The Los Angeles Urban League is a premier advocacy and service organization, which for over 90 years has been committed to advancing equal opportunities, including economic self-reliance for African Americans and other minorities in our uniquely diversified city and region.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Center for Civil Society
The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is a leading institution of research in the areas of public policy, social welfare, urban planning and other areas vital to the continued well-being of our global society.
California Business Roundtable
The California Business Roundtable is a non-partisan organization comprised of the senior executive leadership of the major employers throughout the state – with a combined workforce of more than half a million employees. For more than thirty-five years the Roundtable has identified the issues critical to a healthy business climate and provided the leadership needed to strengthen California’s economy and create jobs.