Chamber presents annual economic report and calls for action on topics including the Port of Los Angeles, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, affordable housing, reliable energy supply, skilled workforce and veteran homelessness
Los Angeles – Today, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and more than 200 business leaders met with Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials during ACCESS L.A. City Hall for the 15th straight year. The L.A. Area Chamber presented the 2014 Economic Report for the City and individual council districts, which compared key economic indicators for each of L.A.’s 15 Council Districts including annual employment, average wage, tax revenue and building permits over that last year. An advocacy agenda was also presented, highlighting nine items of action City Hall may make to improve the economy.
“Are there challenges? Yes. But, I want you to be partners with me to fix poverty, infrastructure, and making this place more business friendly,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti as he addressed the delegation. “I’m confident that with this Chamber and its membership that we are an unstoppable force and we will march toward that horizon together.”
“ACCESS L.A. City Hall is about making business growth and job creation the number one priority for City Hall,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. “The Chamber is committed to representing the voices of the business community in Los Angeles and building meaningful partnerships with City Hall to help the economic development of this region.”
After sharing the report findings, the Chamber went on to highlight several action items that can improve our economy during 2015 including:
- Making business growth and job creation the number one priority at City Hall
- Implementing a plan to phase out the Gross Receipts Tax
- Continual support of the LAX modernization
- Ensuring the Port of Los Angeles can compete with a widened Panama Canal
- Supporting the goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan
- Committing to an incentive based strategy to build more affordable and market based housing in L.A.
- Maintaining an affordable and reliable energy supply by supporting policies that promote a portfolio approach
- Ensuring a skilled workforce by supporting a cradle-to-career approach
- Ending chronic veteran homelessness in L.A. by supporting Home For Good.
The report found that almost all districts experienced growth in private sector employment. While the county employment rate grew by 2.8 percent, the STEM sector dropped by 0.8 percent. Similarly, the information sector employment rate went in the opposite direction of the county rate with a 6.8 percent decrease while the county had a 3.1 percent growth.
According to labor market and firm data, job growth rate is slowing down. Although a positive level of growth was maintained in Districts 2, 3, 8, 9,10, 13 and 14, the rate of growth is much lower than in 2012. Districts 4 and 11 both had sharp drops in the employment rate from positive to negative. Only districts 7 and 15 showed some signs of a recovering economy.
The report also found that the average wage in the City of L.A. decreased by 1.2 percent from 2012 to 2013 to $59,200, after growing 2.8 percent the previous year. Transport, education and health care were among the only industries that experienced positive wage growths in 2013. However, these growths were minimal with rates for all three sectors below 5 percent. Transport/warehouse rated the highest with a 3.6 percent growth. Education and health care came in second with a 1.1 percent increase. Overall wages declined in all districts, except for district 1, 6, 14 and 15.
Construction in the City of L.A. continues to blossom as major residential and mixed-use projects take place in downtown and infrastructure projects appear throughout the city. The value of construction permits grew by 4.1 percent from 2013 to 2014 to approximately $2.75 billion, with the most growth coming from permitting for single-family residential units. Consumer spending was also up, with citywide sales tax receipts up by 5.2 percent and gross business tax receipts up by 6.8 percent.
Representatives from Southern California Gas Company, Sempra Energy, BSNF Railway, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Chevron, TESORO, Clear Channel Outdoor, Time Warner Cable and DoubleLine along with small business owners were among those that joined the Chamber in meetings with the Mayor, City Council Members, City Controller, Ron Galperin and City Attorney, Mike Feuer.
For a full copy of the economic report and a detailed list of the L.A. Area Chamber’s recommendations to the City, visit www.lachamber.org.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.