Economic Growth

Los Angeles is where the world comes to innovate and turn today’s ideas into tomorrow’s innovations. Mayor Garcetti has overseen the strongest economic growth in more than a generation — with record employment, historic investments, and construction.  


RECORD JOB GROWTH. Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 4.4% in five years, alongside record growth in employment that has resulted in 156,000 new jobs. This robust economic growth has been driven by a three-part economic strategy to support key industries, invest in infrastructure, and ensure all Angelenos are included in the City’s prosperity.

RAISING THE WAGE. Mayor Garcetti believes that hard work should be met with fair pay in our city. That’s why Los Angeles became the largest city, in the largest state in the nation, to get on a path to a $15 minimum wage — lifting incomes for more than 600,000 Angelenos. And when Los Angeles acted, L.A. County and surrounding cities followed until the entire State of California adopted a $15 wage. The wage is projected to add more than $1.8 billion in aggregate earnings for L.A. workers through 2017.  

LESS TAXING SITUATION. Mayor Garcetti enacted the City’s largest-ever business tax cut, delivering $90 million in tax relief to L.A. businesses which has put L.A. in a position for historic growth in the years to come. This has helped drive business registration in the City with more than 212,000 new businesses licensed in Los Angeles since Mayor Garcetti assumed office.

BRINGING HOLLYWOOD HOME. Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’ legacy industries — and for too long jobs slipped away to other cities and states. Mayor Garcetti is fighting for these jobs, which is why he led the coalition to triple the state’s film tax credit to $335 million a year. To date, that credit has delivered $5.1 billion dollars to our state and created 30,000 jobs.

UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENT. During the 2017 fiscal year, the City issued over 177,000 building permits for projects in the city, which equates to a total construction valuation of $8.5 billion — an all-time high. The City also permitted more than 24,000 dwelling units, the highest number since the 1980s.

RECORD PORT, AIRPORT, TRAVEL AND TOURISM LEVELS. Los Angeles’ economy continues to set new records for tourism, travel, and Port cargo. These efforts paid off with international tourism in Los Angeles growing to a record 7.1 million visitors. In 2017, LAX broke its record for the total number of passengers for the fourth consecutive year with 84.9 million travelers passed through the airport. The Port of Los Angeles broke a record of its own, moving more cargo in 2017 than any year in its history — making it the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere.

LEADING THE GROWTH OF LA’S TECH RENAISSANCE. Mayor Garcetti formed a Technology and Innovation Council in February 2014 led by more than 40 top city business leaders. The Council is responsible for proposing ideas, policy solutions, and initiatives that will help LA determine how to grow the tech industry. Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership,  from 2013 through 2017, venture capital investment in L.A. startups saw a compound annual growth rate of 37.9%, with a total of $8.635 billion invested in 1,361 firms in the City alone. Mayor Garcetti and the City Council pioneered a tax category within the City's business tax specifically for tech companies — a decision  that has helped make Los Angeles the ninth leading startup ecosystem in the world, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017. 

EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY. Mayor Garcetti launched the LA Tech Talent Pipeline to influence how City Hall, educational institutions, and workforce system develop curriculum, training, and employment opportunities for the next generation of tech talent. The program is a partnership between the Center for Innovation and Technology (Bixel Exchange), the YouthSource System, and nearly 40 major tech industry partners. In its first cycle, the program recruited and placed 100 participants in tech internships. Over 30 participants have received offers of employment following their internship.

LA ORIGINAL. An initiative of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles (MFLA) in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, LA Original has engaged over 20 companies and retailers that are making new creations for the LA Original line or merging existing products with the brand — including t-shirts, bags, skateboards, and jewelry. LA Original spotlights L.A.’s creative economy and local manufacturers with program proceeds supporting local entrepreneur programs.

MORE FEET IN THE DOOR. Mayor Garcetti created and launched the Evolve Entertainment Fund City’s first fund to bridge the opportunity and skills gap for young, underrepresented Angelenos interested in pursuing careers within entertainment. This public-private partnership was made possible by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development with help from over 70 companies across the entertainment ecosystem. The program will tackle the problem of a lack of diversity within all aspects of the entertainment industry through a five-pronged approach that includes education, paid internships, mentorship programs, mini grants, and production gap financing.

DELIVERING SECOND CHANCES: In 2016, the Mayor's Office of Reentry secured an $8.93 million contract with CalTrans to provide transitional jobs for 1,300 formerly incarcerated Angelenos over three years as part of the New Roads To Second Chances program. To date, 62 percent of participants who completed New Roads in compliance with the program obtained permanent employment. In addition, New Roads boasts an impressive recidivism rate of 1.4 percent compared with a state-wide recidivism rate of nearly 67 percent. In July 2017, the Mayor's Office of Reentry was awarded $6 million in Proposition 47 savings by the state to fund Project imPACT, a year-long program that serves justice-involved individuals seeking employment. Participants receive ongoing support provided by a peer mentor and access to legal services.

SUPPORTING LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES. In 2017, the Mayor launched the Free Tax Prep Los Angeles campaign to connect families to no-cost tax preparation services to help them claim their State and Federal tax credits. As part of these efforts, all 16 of the City’s FamilySource Centers and community partners open their doors throughout the tax season to assist families with claiming their refunds, which can reach $9,000 for our most low-income households. In its first year, the campaign served more than 100,000 L.A. area residents.

BRINGING DOWN BARRIERS. In 2015, the Mayor and City Council launched the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE), an innovative employment program for those with high barriers to employment, especially youth and adults who have been previously homeless or incarcerated. LA:RISE brings together non-profit social enterprises and the City’s WorkSource Centers to provide participants with free job training, paid work experience and supportive services — such as connections to housing, transportation and legal services — to support them on their path to self-sufficiency. Through 2017, the program had placed more than 1,200 men and women with high barriers.

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