In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic effects of the virus and subsequent shutdown have had economic impacts on Los Angeles that seem to split the city into two halves: those that are uniquely well-equipped to weather the storm and those hit harder than almost anywhere else in the country. Keep reading…
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The economic sectors that have performed well throughout the pandemic tend to be high-paying and highly adaptable to a socially distant transition, meaning jobs in the technological, business, and marketing industries. The sectors that have fared much worse in Los Angeles are those driven by in-person patronage and a healthy dose of tourist attention, meaning service-oriented companies like restaurants, bars, and hotels.
Overall, unemployment rates in Los Angeles have consistently been above the national average in light of the pandemic with a projected average of over 10% by the end of 2020. UCLA has projected the city will take almost two years to recover and return to normal levels of unemployment, meaning the job market in the city is much tighter than usual.
At normal levels, the median household income in Los Angeles is just over $60,000 annually. The largest economic sectors are entertainment, technology, and tourist services with healthcare, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals also rising to be major economic players in the area. Among lower income levels, a substantial portion of Los Angeleans work multiple jobs to make ends meet and/or take part in the “gig economy” which involves working for food delivery services or rideshare services on the side of their regular jobs. Prominent “gig economy” companies include the likes of Uber, Postmates, Lyft, and DoorDash.
The largest employers in Los Angeles are the city and county government, Kaiser Permanente, Target, Amazon, and Kroger with several hundreds of thousands of employees apiece. Ranked by sales and economic growth, the largest companies in the city are Walt Disney Co, CBRE Group, and AECOM Technology with revenues on the order of several billion dollars.
When painting the Los Angeles economic landscape in broad strokes, it is clearly a powerhouse of revenue which makes it the largest geographically construed contributor to America’s GDP. In spite of these well-established companies, there is also a culture of innovation to be discovered in Los Angeles, particularly in the technological sector.
Hub of Innovation
Every year, hundreds of startups lay their roots in the city with the hopes of rising to the level of major players like Google or Amazon. While not every LA startup is successful, some of the most notable ones in recent years have been Mothership, which seeks to make on-demand delivery faster and more convenient through a network of delivery drivers, Panoramic, which provides an all-in-one-place method of data storage, specifically designed for other technological companies, and Flowship, which is working to make fast, affordable delivery more accessible to smaller online businesses.
In summation, these companies represent a bright future of Lose Angeles’ technological sector and the potential for the city’s recovery from the current recession. A recipe for economic success involves a diversity of industry and a willingness to adapt and the Los Angeles job market has embodied that to a tee.