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Read This and Weep: They Fiddled While You Got Burned Economically

At 8:30 a.m. today at its annual Access City Hall program in the City Council Chambers, the LA Chamber of Commerce will release a comprehensive “Jobs Report” on the state of the city’s economy with a district by district breakdown.

The report by Christopher Thornberg’s Beacon Economics doesn’t paint a pretty picture .

“The City of Los Angeles was hit hard by the economic downturn that began in late 2007 and continues to be felt today. Across the board, indicators of economic activity in the city are down from their pre-recession peaks–total employment, commercial and residential construction, and business receipts have all suffered…

“While there are bright spots, the larger trends darken the outlook. The 8.5 percent drop in gross business receipts from 2008 to 2009 in the city signals trouble for local business but also for the local government, as the gross receipts tax is an important source of revenue for the city.

The Chamber is using the report to support its push for city pension reform and tax breaks for business as part of an overall strategy to stir economic growth that stalled when the housing bubble started to burst nearly four years ago.

“The focus will be a targeted agenda of steps that the City of Los
Angeles can take to improve our business climate and encourage the
creation of new jobs,” said Chamber president Gary Toebben.

“This report is a first because we broke down existing city and
county data by Council district. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been
meeting with Councilmembers to share our findings and talk about how we
can use this data to move forward with economic development efforts in
their districts.”

Here are a few short excerpts of what the report says is going on economically in the seven Council districts up for election in March:

Paul Krekorian
Employment in District 2 has trended downward over the last three years, falling by 2 percent in 2007 and by 4 percent in 2008 and 2009.Sales tax receipts in District 2 totaled about $26.8 million in 2009, 9.3 percent lower than a year earlier 10

Tom LaBonge
District 4 showed strong job growth heading into 2007 but was hit sharply by the recession. The district lost 11.6 percent of total employment in 2008, the highest rate of job loss among all city council districts. Employment continued to shrink in 2009, with 3 percent fewer jobs in the district.

Tony Cardenas
District 6 has been shedding jobs for four consecutive years. The job losses have accelerated recently as well, dropping 8.5 percent in 2008 and 7.5 percent in 2009.Sales tax receipts in the district tumbled 12.6 percent in the fiscal year ending in 2009 after a 2 percent decline a year earlier.

Bernard Parks
Council District 8
employs the fewest number of people (41,340) and is also home to the fewest number of firms (1,875). Average annual wages of $38,898 in the district also fall well below the city average.Employment and Firm Statistics District 8 has weathered the start of the recession better than the rest of the city, adding 1.7 percent more jobs in 2008 and 2.4 percent more in 2009. No other district reported positive employment growth in 2009. The average wage paid in the district has also show strong growth over the last four years, a 5.1 percent wage increase in 2009 alone.

Herb Wesson

In District 10, a boost in commercial construction in 2006 helped delay the decline in new construction, but building permits for new structures eventually dipped below $50 million from highs above $200 million.District 10 sales tax revenue dipped 8.2 percent, to $11.4 million, in 2009. Growth in receipts was flat in 2008.

Greig Smith
Job growth in District 12 has been negative for all four of the years for which we have data. Also, the rate of job loss has picked up recently as the district shed 5.5 percent of its jobs in 2008 and 2.8 percent in 2009, following more modest declines in the earlier years.Council District 12 has experienced sharp declines in gross business receipts recently, falling by 8.7 percent in 2008 and 6.4 percent in 2009.
Sales tax receipts in the district fell $4.9 million in 2009, to $23.3 million–the largest dollar decline in the city

Jose Huizar
Employment in District 14 has suffered since the start of the recession, with a loss of 5.2 percent of total employment in 2009. After strong wage growth in the three years prior, average wages in District 14 edged down 1.0 percent in 2009,
to $42,688 per year.Sales tax receipts in the district suffered in 2009–dropping 13.2 percent from the prior year, to $9.5 million.

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16 Responses to Read This and Weep: They Fiddled While You Got Burned Economically

  1. Anonymous says:

    LA Chamber of Commerce building has available office space to lease…sign of the times?…or more economic nonsense?….I could go on and on..but that would just make them more ORNERY.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Boy…I’ll tell you…we sure are some great nation builders…when it comes to “helping” other nations, but we cannot even afford one dime to spruce up OUR own HOME(Nation)!

  3. Our political elite will use this information to justify more spending at a time when the City is broke: budget deficits, $16 billion in unfunded pensions, and $10 billion in deferred infrastructure maintenance and repair. And it is not going to get any better as they delay making tough decisions.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Gee, what a surprise!
    I hope all of you who keep re-electing Villar & clowncils are very happy to see the results. Same goes for re-electing congress critters & CA legislature.
    Elections do have consequences.

  5. Poster 1 says:

    Jack is this the type of spending to which you’re referring?
    ITEM NO. (5)
    10-2456 CD 15
    HOUSING, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE REPORT relative a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide a grant for the implementation of the Arts, Culture and Entertainment District in Downtown San Pedro. Recommendation for Council action: AUTHORIZE the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Chief Executive Officer, or designee, to:
    1. Execute a three year MOU with the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) with authorization to extend for one additional year, to provide a grant to the Chamber not to exceed $400,000,/b>, based on funding availability, to implement the Arts, Culture and Entertainment (ACE) District Plan for Downtown San Pedro within the Beacon Street and Pacific Corridor Project Areas.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A bribe to keep the Chamber of Commerce politically manipulated when needed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Chamber of Commerce on the public dole! Don’t forget to vote against higher taxes and for less government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I happen to be a member of IBEW Local 18. It is a requirement in my job, for my job etc. If I do not join, they still take my $100 per month out of my pay, so I might as well join and get the “benefits” of union membership. I have had problems with torturers or bullies at work, even union member bullies. But the Union tells me “They represent ALSO the Bully, not just me”. I appreciate the raises and medical and dental plans I get, and the good retirement. But I do NOT want my union dues dollars going into the pockets of socialists, Marxists, Obama supporters, Boxer supporters, Hugo Chavez supporters etc. But what can I do?? I cannot force the union to refrain from supporting the above. I will retire soon so maybe all of this is moot. But City Council in Los Angeles MAY soon or someday reduce or remove my pension and/or my medical coverage, dental, optical etc. My hands are tied. Don’t blame me the employee for any sins above. I got a job in 1979, City Clerk’s office, City of LA, Parking Meter (coin) collector. It led later to a DWP job. I now have 35 yrs svc DWP/LA/USMC/City of Tampa employment. I “bought back” 5.5 yrs USMC time plus 6 mo Tampa City of (FLA) time. It all counts toward retirement. Hope this is informative and instructive. One more thing, my union favors and supports illegal alien invasions of the USA, and sanctuary city policies. Why? Because they see illegals as future voters, future union members (dues payers) etc, future Democrats, and the children of illegals will vote Dem and also be future union members. You decide if this is a good thing for America or not.

  9. James McCuen says:

    “Poster 1″ on October 27, 2010 9:20 AM
    Thank you for showing us the wastefull spending of the CRA who steels money from the City, County, and schools.
    Then they consider the property and the tax money “theirs.”
    The problem isn’t Proposition 13, its Redevelopment Tax Increment Financing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    By Anonymous on October 27, 2010 5:01 PM,
    First – Your complaint is a little weird. You talk about your appreciation of the pay and pension. Of course you want to keep that don’t you? But its the ratepayers/taxpayers that are burdened with it
    Second, you are upset about the money being directed to people whose politics you don’t agree with.
    But you don’t put two and two together. The way you get your premium wages and benefits (higher than other City workers or other Municipal utilities, is through these very payoffs to politicians.
    So your comment just doesn’t make sense.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is why are City is in such a mess. City council morons stick their nose in so many other issues outside of our jurisdiction and don’t pay attention to the mess they’ve made. Who is Janice Hahn to even suggest this? All city council members have proven to be a bunch of incompetetent fools who are uneducated and could careless about the Angelenos they represent.
    “City Councilwoman Janice Hahn on Wednesday introduced a motion calling for Los Angeles to annex Vernon”
    I think the city of LA should be annexed from City Council, The Failure of a Mayor and The Controller. Will someone please tell me why Wendy Greusome stuck her nose in LAUSD audit.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I so don’t care.

  13. Anonymous says:

    LA Chamber of Commerce was asking the City for tax subsidies, and telling LA City Hall their pension system is broke. .
    How many Corporation or Businesses are hiring and paying a decent salary to the people living in each district. As it turns out not many. NONE! ZIP! NADA!
    If you compare the LA Chamber Data in terms of businessess to the Cities list of businesses, registered in LA, I bet there are businesses not even registered in LA. And, don’t be surprised if many are not. No wonder reveunue is down.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Humperville said: budget deficits, $16 billion in unfunded pensions, and $10 billion in deferred infrastructure maintenance and repair.
    And it is not going to get any better as they delay making tough decisions.
    Politically speaking, Ron has given Candidate with talking points; and a summary no one can deny.
    If you can’t knock the incumbant off his/her horse with this data–LOL. Ron, you sly doggie.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Humperville said: budget deficits, $16 billion in unfunded pensions, and $10 billion in deferred infrastructure maintenance and repair.
    And it is not going to get any better as they delay making tough decisions.
    Politically speaking, Ron has given Candidate with talking points; and a summary no one can deny.
    If you can’t knock the incumbant off his/her horse with this data–LOL. Ron, you sly doggie.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do Los Angeles Council members have a lucrative pension similar to their salaries? Let the readers know.
    If council does have a pension benefit, why is that topic not on their discussion radar? As the council moves forward with ballot measure(s) for pension reform, council could include language in the ballot measure to amend their salaries that should NEVER have been attached to judges’ salaries.
    Los Angeles Charter – Article II
    Sec. 218. Compensation of Elected Officers
    (a) Compensation. The Mayor, City Attorney, Controller and members of the Council shall receive compensation for their services only as provided in this section and shall not receive any other compensation for those services.
    (1) Salaries. Members of the City Council shall be paid a salary equal to that prescribed by law for judges of the Municipal Court of the Los Angeles Judicial District or its successor in the event that court is dissolved or reconstituted.
    The Controller shall be paid a salary that is 10% more than that of a Council member. The City Attorney shall be paid a salary that is 20% more than that of a Council member. The Mayor shall be paid a salary that is 30% more than that of a Council member.
    The Controller shall be responsible for ascertaining the salary of Municipal Court judges and for setting and adjusting the salaries of elected officers in accordance with this section. Salaries shall be paid in bi-weekly increments unless the Council, by ordinance, prescribes otherwise.
    (2) Other Benefits. The Council may, by ordinance, subject to referendum as specified in Article IV of the Charter, confer benefits other than salary upon elected officers as additional compensation for their services. However, benefits from the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System may not be provided for elected officers that would exceed benefits generally provided to members of the System who are non-represented officers or employees of the City or, if there are no non-represented officers or employees, that would exceed benefits generally provided to other members of the System.
    (3) Operative Date of Changes in Salaries. The salaries of elected officers shall be adjusted in the manner provided in this section upon the effective date of any change in the salaries of Municipal Court judges.

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