The Institute for Applied Economics at LAEDC performs objective economic research and analysis for a wide range of clients, detailing economic impact of development, business operations, and regulation, as well as providing intelligence about specific industry clusters, labor force, and workforce development issues.  The Institute’s reports provide decision makers with critical information from which to make informed decisions. In addition to providing on-demand research per client requirements, the Institute also conducts foundational research to ensure LAEDC’s many programs for economic development are on target, including the company’s collaboration with workforce investment boards, its award-winning business assistance program, and its work on the L.A. County Strategic Plan for Economic Development and its cluster development initiatives.

The Institute’s mission is to provide objective and unparalleled economic and policy expertise to our clients and the broader public audience. If you have any questions about IAE or would like more information on how we can best assist you, please email [email protected], or call (213) 236-4840. 

LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics Activities for FY 2019-2020

During FY 19-20, the Institute collaborated with AltaSea at the Port of LA, to detail the impacts of the “ocean economy” in Los Angeles County. Other industry analyses provided by the IAE included quantifying the bioscience industry in Los Angeles, evaluating the impacts of the “creative economy” in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, and providing an in depth landscape analysis and employment projections for the region’s electric vehicle industry cluster. These reports allowed the IAE to address regional trends, workforce needs, and the growing impact of climate change on industry needs and public policy.

In continuing its partnership with Mt. San Antonio College and the Center for a Competitive Workforce, the Institute provided four detailed industry reports of workforce trends and employment projections in four industries: manufacturing; construction; information communications technology; and protective services, experiencing growth in middle-skill job opportunities that may be at low-risk of automation. These reports serve to further educate community colleges about the future workforce needs of industry to further the LAEDC’s mission of advancing opportunity for all, ensuring that community college graduates and adult learners have the skills required by industries experiencing workforce shortages in the region. In working with higher education, the Institute also collaborated with CSU Northridge to evaluate the role of the region’s four-year colleges and universities, along with their professional schools and graduate programs, in preparing Southern California’s future workforce. Additionally, an economic impact analysis was provided for the Associated Students UCLA, whose four parts (the Undergraduate Students Association (USA), Graduate Students Association (GSA), Student Media and Services & Enterprises), together, makes up the largest student association in the United States.

The Institute was highly responsive and active in responding to unprecedented economic challenges brought on by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Research briefings on fiscal impacts and projections for job losses, as well as weekly webinars were provided by the Institute to offer guidance and analysis to policy, education, nonprofit, labor and business leaders in the county.

Finally, the Institute continues to produce professional and insightful forecasts for the region. During FY 19-20, the Institute released an updated forecast for Southern California, as well as detailed outlooks for the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County.

IAE highlights during the 2019-2020 fiscal year include the following:


From the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the IAE produced ongoing analysis and research regarding the economic implications of the global health crisis.

  • LAEDC analysis of the economic implications for LA County

On March 17th, the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics released a memo with our thoughts on the economic implications of the emerging pandemic, as we had already started to experience disruptions in global supply chains, hoarding and the resulting short-term shortages of essential goods, the cancellation of large gatherings, the closure of schools and universities moving to online instruction, sheltering in place and self-quarantining, and of course, the mandated closure of nonessential businesses such as restaurants, hair and nail salons, theaters, and retail stores, which left many LA County workers stuck at home without the guarantee of pay.  Recognizing that these events would give rise to unprecedented economic challenges, we felt it our responsibility to provide context for the rapid changes taking place, by sharing data and insights at a time when so many were looking for answers.

  • Weekly webinars

For much of the spring, our economists addressed local and national updates regarding job losses, impacted industries, stimulus decisions, and more. Attend the next one!

  • Employment Impact of COVID-19: Southern California

In April, the IAE released its Employment Impact of COVID-19: Southern California, which provides job loss projections for May 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 across each of Southern California’s major statistical areas.

  • Municipal Budget Exposure and COVID-19

In May, the IAE released the Municipal Budget Exposure and COVID-19 regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the revenues of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County.



The LAEDC provided an economic impact analysis of the Ocean Economy in Los Angeles County. The report, co-authored by AltaSea, defines the Ocean Economy, identifies emerging industries within the Ocean Economy, and provides a 5-year forecast of the Ocean Economy’s contribution to Los Angeles County. The report also highlights the economic and environmental importance of the marine economy, complete with policy and program recommendations concerning workforce development, industry regulations, and conservation efforts.


The LAEDC estimated the size of the bioscience industry in Los Angeles County, in terms of employment, establishments, funding and economic activity.  The report provides insights into the growing bioscience cluster in Los Angeles County.

  • LA County Economic Development SCORECARD

In collaboration with the LA County CEO’s office, the IAE reported on economic development in LA County and the region’s overall economic trends. The report details the progress achieved in workforce development, business assistance, financial assistance and capital development.


  1. Center for a Competitive Workforce (CCW) in collaboration with Mt SAC

In collaboration with the Center for a Competitive Workforce, the LAEDC provided detailed analysis of workforce trends and employment projections in four distinct reports:

  • Manufacturing;
  • Information and Communications Technology(ICT);
  • Construction; and
  • Protective Services.

These four reports serve as data-driven support for community college faculty to align educational programs with the needs of employers. The reports also address growing trends and/or threats of automation in each industry and identify key skills valued by employers. Each report publication was accompanied by a webinar provided by the LAEDC to present key findings and additional information on the impact of COVID-19 on each industry.

  1. LAEDC Annual Economic Forecast, as part of LAEDC’s service to the County

The IAE provided its annual report on the economic outlook for Southern California and Los Angeles County. Included in the report were projections and trends concerning the economies of the U.S., California, and the ten counties of the greater Southern California region.

  1. Other Collaboration with LA County 

The IAE provided 4 quarterly forecasts for LA County’s Chief Executive Office (CEO), offering projections for unemployment, taxable sales, inflation and housing market indicators. In addition, taxable sales estimates were provided for selected industries in regards to the impact of COVID to the same audience. Additionally, on an annual basis we provide economic indicator data requested to the County Treasuring and Tax Collector office, which includes estimates concerning GCP, population, household income, taxable sales, unemployment, employment by industry and port-related data.

  1. Economic Update for Los Angeles County (SCAG)

This report provides an economic overview and outlook for Los Angeles County, as well as an occupational outlook and analysis of leading and emerging industries in the region. The report was commissioned by the Southern California Association of Governors.

  1. San Gabriel Valley Economic Forecast

The IAE provided an updated report on the economic forecast, regional overview, and demographic profile of the San Gabriel Valley. The report is commissioned by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.

  1. CSUN

Commissioned by California State University, Northridge, this study discusses the role of the CSU system in shaping a more educated workforce in California. Projections regarding the Southern California economy and its industries and occupations are included in the study. In this study, the LAEDC identifies hiring industries with promise and provides analysis on degree gaps and occupations at risk. The report further discusses the need for the CSU system to align with industry needs to provide upward mobility and opportunities for 4-year graduates.

  1. The Electric Mobility Revolution in Southern California

This report defines the electric vehicle industry cluster and provides a landscape analysis of the current scope of the industry and its related resources in Southern California. The report includes a discussion of the pace of EV deployment in California, public health needs and goals, and policy proposals to meet environmental goals and pursue California’s potential as a global leader in EV technology.  Employment projections and workforce analysis are also included in the analysis.

This report was commissioned by the following partners: SCAG, SCAQMD, SCE, LADWP, and LA Metro.

  1. Cal Poly Pomona

The IAE provided California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with employment projections and analysis for occupations related to the University’s environmental design college.


The IAE produced an analysis of Metrolink’s Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) program, quantifying the job impacts and economic output associated with the program’s construction investment and associated effects. Related effects regarding travel times and environmental impacts were also presented in the report.

  1. Trans-Pacific Partners: The commercial, capital and cultural exchange between Hong Kong and California

Commissioned by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, this report establishes the trade relationship and cultural ties between California and Hong Kong, such as the importance of foreign direct investments and the presence of international students and tourists. The report offers suggestions for strengthening the relationship between the two regions in the future.

  1. Ventura & Santa Barbara Creative Economy

This report examines the economic contribution of creative economy industry in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and a comparison of the K-12 arts education in these counties over time.


The Associated Students UCLA is the largest student association in the United States. This report presents an economic impact analysis of UCLA in Los Angeles County, the greater Southern California region, and the rest of the state. A qualitative assessment is also included, detailing ASUCLA’s philanthropic and cultural contributions in Los Angeles County.

  1. California Forward

In collaboration with Wells Fargo, the IAE is delivering a statewide snapshot of California’s housing needs. This report details the housing constraints and affordability challenges in each of Wells Fargo’s California markets. The report provides an identification of key stakeholders in each region, an analysis of existing efforts to increase housing affordability, an understanding of next steps required by each region, and an outline of next steps to take to connect and amplify existing efforts.

  1. Supplemental Analysis for the Economic Analysis of Oil and Gas Production Setbacks in the City and County of Los Angeles

On behalf of Californians for Energy Independence (CEI), the IAE conducted a case-study approach to quantify the setbacks of well closures as a result of a new ordinance requiring the closures of wells in close proximity to “sensitive land uses.” The supplemental analysis estimated the value of potential development that would be blocked under the new setback in the City and County of Los Angeles.

  1. SA Recycling 2019 Update

In continuing its initial analysis for SA Recycling, the IAE expanded the scope and provided an impact analysis of the company’s 2019 activities (updated from 2018) in Los Angeles County and expanded the region of focus to the greater Southern California region.

  1. TEA Letters for eb-5 projects

To help facilitate the creation of jobs via the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the IAE issued TEA letters for 15 projects during the year.  But, effective Nov. 21, 2019, the USCIS now directly reviews and determines the designation of high-unemployment TEAs.

Analysis of LAEDC programmatic work

  1. BAP program Analyses
  • Economic impact analysis of BAP program in FY 2018-2019

The report quantifies the economic impact associated with the jobs saved by BAP during the FY 2018-2019 throughout Los Angeles County.

  • Results of the Layoff Aversion Program (LAP) program 2018-2019

An analysis of the Layoff Aversion Program, a contract with the City of LA WDB, which includes the economic impact of jobs saved through the program.

  1. FDI

As a partner to the World Trade Center Los Angeles, California Governor’s Board of Business and Economic Development, and Loyola Marymount University, the LAEDC’s IAE contributed to the 2020 update to Foreign Direct Investment in California. The report quantifies the presence of foreign direct investment and foreign-owned enterprises throughout the state by source countries and their industries.

  1. LA City FDI

With the World Trade Center Los Angeles, the IAE contributed to updating the City of Los Angeles FDI Report. The report details the scale of foreign owned enterprises (FOEs) by source nation and their change over time. Changes in firms and jobs by sector were also quantified as well as average wages paid by source nation.

  1. Paid Family Leave

The City of Los Angeles studied the potential benefits of a fully funded 18-week policy for Paid Family Leave. In this report, the LAEDC provides a review of family leave policies and evaluates the impact of the policy in Los Angeles based on three alternative funding plans.


Selected Reports

The listing below illustrates IAE’s broad depth and experience, and presents just a sampling of the services provided by IAE. Not all reports are publicly available due to confidentiality and client requirements.

Economic Impact Analysis

IAE quantifies the relationship between a particular economic activity (investment, purchase, operations, expansion) and its interdependence with various sectors of the economy. Any economic activity impacts the number of jobs, earnings and economic output in a region. A subset of this type of analysis is producing jobs reports for applicants to the EB-5 program, which stimulates the US economy through capital investment and job creation by foreign investors. Recent examples of economic impact studies include:

Workforce Development

IAE analyzes a particular geographic location in terms of the occupational makeup of individual industries or industry clusters. This includes the employment, training, education and median annual wages. In context with the composition of the local residential population, this analysis is used to assess and evaluate the ability of workers to meet current and future workforce needs. Recent examples include:

Industry Cluster and Sector-Based Research

IAE assesses regional competitiveness, workforce needs, supply chain capacity, export potential and regulatory hurdles. This in-depth research helps guide economic development efforts towards the region;s strengths and more promising opportunities, while also highlighting weaknesses where intervention may be usefully deployed. Recent examples of industry cluster and sector-based research includes:

Policy Analysis

IAE assesses policy initiatives in the context of economic impacts. This includes relevant literature reviews, technical analysis, and metrics to measure and evaluate policy effectiveness. An example includes:

The Institute for Applied Economics was formerly the Economic and Policy Analysis Group.

Regional Economic Reports & Studies

IAE creates extensive and reliable demographic profiles including population, household, education, income, housing and other characteristics for any standard or customized geographic region. Annual Economic forecasts that project how our regional economy will change in the coming years are also created by our economists. Some recent examples of the IAE’s Regional Economic Reports include:

NEW – Spotlight on Communities demographic profiles

LA County’s 5 Supervisorial Districts 2017

 International Reports

The reports underscore the immense amount of international connections that are essential to economic activities and jobs here in Southern California and L.A. County.


Past and present clients include Burbank Bob Hope Airport, California Cable & Telecommunications Association (CCTA), California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), Foothill Workforce Investment Board, Grand Avenue LA, Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC), J.P. Getty Trust, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Los Angeles City Workforce Investment Board, Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services (CSS), Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Metropolitan Water District (MWD), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, Plains All American Pipeline, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership (SGVEP), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Southeast Area Social Services Funding Authority (SASSFA), Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board (SELACO WIB), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Southern California Leadership Council (SCLC), Western States Petroleum Association.