LAEDC tracks a range of economic indicators for LA County and the broader region. For a more complete look at LAEDC’s economic forecast, you can view the latest report HERE. Also, California EDD publishes monthly updates on job growth in LA County, HERE, but pro tip — be aware that “seasonally unadjusted” numbers can be a bit misleading.
Unemployment rate: The California EDD publishes the LA County “headline” or U-3 unemployment rate on a monthly basis, which is listed on our homepage. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers a more insightful “U-6” datapoint for LA County unemployment including those who are unemployed, discouraged workers who have quit looking for a job, and part-time workers who are seeking full-time employment. While the headline unemployment rate (U-3) is at historic lows, the U-6 definition of unemployment is 10.3%, and is increasingly important to study because of structural changes in the economy. It is more often difficult to describe being “employed” due to app-based job/task engagements, contract work of various kinds, and other trends affecting the nature of work. Also, there is a substantial portion of the population that considers itself underemployed. By studying U-6, our region may develop better public policy proposals and approach workforce development differently. (U-6 source: https://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm)
2018 Economic Growth (GCP): LA County’s economic output for the most recent year (2018) is estimated to be $807 billion in nominal terms, as reported by IHS, and that is approximately a 2.8 percentage increase from the prior year. This indicates moderate growth.
Median Household Income: Household income has finally started to edge upwards in real terms, and currently is approximately $65,000 in LA County. This is different from per capita income, which is approximately $58,000.
Personal Income Growth Rate: This is LAEDC’s forecast for “real” (inflation adjusted) personal income growth in LA County for the period of 2019, compared to the prior year. For more about LAEDC’s forecast, click HERE.