Los Angeles manufacturing job loss hampers state recovery, report says

Robots rivet the side frame assembly on the body of a Revero electric car at the Karma automotive factory in Moreno Valley. Karma is the first car-building company in Southern California in decades.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles has hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs since 2007, casting a pall over the state’s economic recovery, according to a forecast released Tuesday by Chapman University.

Los Angeles has lost 20% of its manufacturing jobs since 2007 and California as a whole shed 1% of those positions, the report said.

Since beginning of the recovery in 2010, the country as a whole and the state have added manufacturing positions, but Los Angeles has continued to see those jobs disappear.


The drop is a sign that California’s economy, outside of Silicon Valley, may be shakier than it seems, said Chapman University economist and president James Doti.

“California looks better than it is because one area is doing so well it seems to be propping up the statewide numbers. Los Angeles is not doing well at all,” Doti said.

San Francisco County added twice as many jobs as Los Angeles since 2007, growing 20%. Employment in Los Angeles County increased by 1% during that time, compared to 5% job growth in the state.

The report found that California lost 170,000 residents, on net, to other states in the last three years. Virtually all of those residents left Los Angeles, said Doti.

“The reason they are moving out is because of the relatively high cost of housing and the fact that L.A. has a disproportionately high loss of manufacturing workers,” Doti said.

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