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 — watch out for seasonally unadjusted numbers.
U-6: This is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most recent data point 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. Why is LAEDC reporting on U-6 and what happened to the “headline” unemployment rate? While the headline unemployment rate (U-3) is at historic lows, LAEDC’s position is that the U-6 definition of unemployment is increasingly important 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. (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.
Home Price to Household Income: This is a ratio of median home price in LA County to annual household income. The current ratio of approximately 9:1 indicates that, on average, it takes nine years of household income to pay for a home in full. This is due in part to an underlying supply shortage of housing in the region, and in fact only about 30% of households can afford a home in LA County. While home prices in LA County are still a bargain compared to some other metro areas like the San Francisco Bay area, better housing supply remains a priority for the region.