Our Economic Wreck of a City, Los Angeles
Even if you, dear reader, do not live in Los Angeles County, California let this be a warning to you.
Does the reputation of our City and County of Los Angeles as hostile to business have any harmful effect? Well, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports that Los Angeles County managed to shed 81,000 payroll jobs in January, with the unemployment rate rising to a France-like 10.4 percent! 81,000 payroll jobs gone in a single month! While about a quarter of the job loss, some 20,000 jobs, represented the layoffs by the retail trade of its holiday hiring, that still leaves a 61,000 job loss in other sectors.
Although the rest of the State of California is by no means enjoying a business boom, even with the drag of the Los Angeles County figures, the State as a whole posted a net gain in January of 1700 jobs.
If Los Angeles County leads the entire State downward, the City of Los Angeles leads the County. The unemployment rate in the City of Los Angeles was above 12%. That compares with 9.8% statewide and 7.9% nationally.
The only good news is that things were even worse a year ago, in January 2012.
Leading Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Wendy Gruel announced this week that upon taking office she will erase one of the few accomplishments of current and outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa--she will reopen negotiations with the City's public employee unions on the pension plan reforms implemented by Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council.
With leadership like that, perhaps job loss and unemployment in January 2014 will match those January 2012 figures.