LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage today as keynote speaker of the UCLA Anderson Forecast: Solutions for Our City event to address key challenges facing the city, from a growing poverty rate and lack of accountability in City Hall, to the regulatory tax environment and job growth.
"The focus that we have here today on skills, on creating jobs…to me, they're more and more unified than they've ever been," said Garcetti. "Los Angeles doesn't necessarily grow people at the rate they need in order to become productive workers. We have to make sure our skills align with the needs of our economy here – especially for our youth."
With Los Angeles facing a declining middle class, Garcetti said his administration is working hard to create more opportunities for young people, including a summer jobs program for youth that will launch this year and will offer 10,000 jobs. Other efforts such as keeping parks open late are aimed at lowering truancy rates.
Garcetti also stressed the need to jumpstart the jobs infrastructure and make sure the city's tax and regulatory environment is welcoming to businesses.
"We have to hustle for business from City Hall," said Garcetti. "We need to market this town, we need to make sure people know that it's a global investor…. Things are moving, and we have to make sure they move for everybody."
UCLA Anderson Forecast economists helped paint a broader picture of the current economic conditions in Los Angeles and across the nation. Forecast Director Ed Leamer pointed to the fact that, while the U.S. has seen a 25 percent job growth since 1990, during the same period, Los Angeles has lost 3.1 percent of its payroll jobs – worse than Detroit and Cleveland.
"We really need to get that job engine growing," said Leamer. "The city's development strategy has to move in two distinct directions. We want to be like the Bay Area and attract entrepreneurial types, but at the same time, we have to do something for the rest of Angelenos who don't have the same prospects."
Forecast Economist William Yu told the "Tale of two cities," of a bifurcated Los Angeles that has a highly educated population along the coast, but a much less educated population throughout the rest of the city.
"West Los Angeles, with a higher human capital, remains competitive while the rest of L.A., with a low human capital, lags behind," Yu said in relation to the impacts on employment and income rates.
Forecast Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg talked about California's drought, noting that, while the state is in a drought emergency, data show that aridity is not a causal factor in economic growth. In fact, Southern California consumes the same amount of water as 30 years ago, even though population has increased.
"We've adapted, we've made changes," said Nickelsburg. "It really doesn't show up as being something that is a drag on economic growth."
In his California economic update, Nickelsburg said the state's economy continues to grow, with nonfarm payroll employment only .6 percent below its previous peak and employment .5 percent above its previous peak. While the housing recovery has legs, it still has a long way to go, he added.
Forecast Senior Economist David Shulman presented the national economic forecast, focusing on the impacts of an unseasonably cold winter in the Midwest and one of the warmest winters in California. While the harsh winter weather that ravaged much of the country caused slower than expected national growth in the first quarter, the U.S. economy is expected to rebound in the spring with a 3 percent GDP growth, boosted by increased housing and business investments, as well as gains in consumer spending.
Shulman predicted a minimum wage increase sometime in August or September 2014, as well as an uptick in inflation above 2 percent in 2016. Housing will continue to rebound, with multi-family leading the recovery, he said.
The UCLA Anderson Forecast event also featured two panel discussions on job availability and job preparedness. Expert panelists raised a series of additional key issues affecting Los Angeles's economic recovery, including a strict regulatory environment for businesses, the importance of paid summer internships and job training programs, lowering the recidivism rate of former prison inmates, immigration reform, and trucking and environmental regulations, among others.
About UCLA Anderson Forecast
UCLA Anderson Forecast is one of the most widely watched and often-cited economic outlooks for California and the nation and was unique in predicting both the seriousness of the early-1990s downturn in California and the strength of the state's rebound since 1993. More recently, the Forecast was credited as the first major U.S. economic forecasting group to declare the recession of 2001. Visit UCLA Anderson Forecast at http://uclaforecast.com. For a historical timeline of the Forecast, click here.
About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world, with faculty members globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Located in Los Angeles, gateway to the growing economies of Latin America and Asia and a city that personifies innovation in a diverse range of endeavors, UCLA Anderson's MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Global Executive MBA for the Americas, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs embody the school's Think In The Next ethos. Annually, some 1,800 students are trained to be global leaders seeking the business models and community solutions of tomorrow. Follow UCLA Anderson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UCLAAnderson or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/uclaanderson.
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SOURCE UCLA Anderson School of Management