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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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UCLA Forecasts ‘Plodding’ Recovery

The UCLA Anderson Forecast predicts a continued “painfully plodding” economic recovery for the state and an uncertain outcome for Los Angeles if the minimum wage is raised. The Thursday report for the third and fourth quarter noted the county’s 8.1 percent and the state’s 7.4 percent unemployment rates are far higher than the nation’s 6.2 percent rate, despite broad job growth across multiple industries. “Even though the number of jobs is now higher than any time in the past, the state remains below its potential in output and employment,” wrote senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg in the report. “That we are entering the sixth year of expansion just illustrates how painfully plodding this recovery process has been.” In a section of the report covering Los Angeles, author William Yu noted that in July, there were nearly 4.2 million jobs in the county, still about 1 percent lower than the 2007 high-water mark. L.A. City is 2.3 percent lower than its peak. “L.A. City has undergone a rigorous economic recovery over the past two years, but in the long run, employment growth is still falling behind other major metropolitan areas,” Yu wrote. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing to raise the minimum wage in phases to $13.25 by 2017. Yu estimates that would affect about 27 percent of all workers in the city and could exert a big economic impact across the region. However, the increase in purchasing power would be offset if companies move to lower-wage locations within the county. “(L.A.) City is embedded in a heavily interconnected local economy. If L.A. City has a higher minimum wage while other cities have a lower one, it is possible for some businesses and low-skilled manufacturers to relocate to nearby cities,” he wrote.

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.

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