Los Angeles, California Economy and History

By | December 5, 2022


Traditionally, aviation, aerospace and manufacturing have been the main pillars of the Los Angeles economy. However, the number of jobs in these sectors has declined sharply since the 1990s, mainly because of the high costs and strict regulations for these companies. With the disappearance of these sectors, the middle class in the Los Angeles area has experienced a decline, mainly because of the very high cost of living, mainly due to very high house prices, which, however, are not offset by high incomes as in the San Francisco area. state. It is common in Los Angeles that several families or incomes form one household to be able to pay the rent, overcrowding is a major problem in Los Angeles.

According to answerresume, transport and logistics are an important economic sector in Los Angeles. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are among the largest in the United States, and many goods are transported inland by road or rail. The Los Angeles region is home to extensive business parks. The oil industry used to be of greater importance, a lot of oil was originally extracted in the region. Several large oil refineries are located in the Los Angeles Basin. In the Inland Empire, agriculture and livestock was originally an important sector, but has been partly displaced by the rapid suburbanization of the countryside.

One of the biggest problems in the area is the imbalance between housing and work locations. Particularly in the Inland Empire, low-skilled industrial jobs are almost exclusively available, forcing people to travel up to 2 hours one way to work. Distances of 50 to 100 kilometers one way are common here, which places a high burden on the infrastructure, which has hardly been adapted to the population since the 1970s. An economic problem in the region is that house prices are very high, but wages are much lower than, for example, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of the 107 metropolitan areas of more than 500,000 residents in the United States, Los Angeles and Riverside/San Bernardino rank at the very bottom when comparing salary to cost of living. [2] The post-recession economic recovery from 2008 was also significantly slower in Los Angeles than in the San Francisco area. Many manufacturing jobs have been lost, which has eroded the middle class in the region. Much of the job growth after 2010 has been in the low-paid services sector.

Los Angeles is considered one of the most polycentric conurbations in the United States, the share of jobs in Downtown Los Angeles is no more than a few percent of the total. Job sites are scattered throughout the metropolitan area, with an emphasis on Los Angeles County and Orange County, with a little less in the Inland Empire or the High Desert. The average commuting distance in the urban area is relatively short, also in terms of travel time, for such a vast urban region. This is less true, however, for certain types of runways, which require longer travel distances, particularly between the Inland Empire, the High Desert, the San Fernando Valley and the more central part of the urban region.


Los Angeles was founded in 1781, but originally belonged to the Spanish Empire, from 1821 it belonged to Mexico, as part of Alta California. Los Angeles has been part of the United States since 1848. Los Angeles began to grow strongly from the late 19th century, the railroads reached the city in 1876 and oil was discovered in 1892. In the early 20th century California was the largest oil producer in the country. The population exceeded 100,000 by 1900, and the city began to suffer from a shortage of drinking water. In 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed, bringing water from the Sierra Nevada to Los Angeles and enabling further growth of the city. The population increased tenfold between 1900 and 1930, to 1 million inhabitants.

The urban area is strongly determined by the geographical boundaries. Since the Second World War, the agglomeration has grown significantly out of its old boundaries, into the surrounding areas. Former Los Angeles consisted mainly of the Los Angeles Basin, bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. Soon, suburbs to the southeast began to develop, the so-called Gateway Cities. At that time, the San Fernando Valley northwest of downtown was also urbanizing into a highly urban area, part of the city of Los Angeles. In the 1960s and 1970s, population growth swept over to Orange County, which was completely built up by 2000. The Santa Ana Mountains and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton form solid boundaries separating the conurbation from that of San Diego. Beginning in the 1980s, the population of the so-called Inland Empire, comprising San Bernardino and Riverside County, began to increase dramatically, with some towns doubling in population every few years. From 2000 this area also became full, but the enormously increased house prices in the region led to a further search for affordable housing, after which the urban area began to develop further and further away from the actual city. The corridor along I-10, I-15, and I-215 south and east of San Bernardino is now becoming increasingly densely populated. These are suburbs more than 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles. A new trend from 2000 is urbanization around Palmdale and Lancaster, in the desert. These are physically separated from the rest of the conurbation by the high San Gabriel Mountains.

The growth of the agglomeration fell sharply after 2010, with even a contraction from 2018 onwards. In the period 2010-2019, the growth was only half of the period 2000-2009. Initially, growth slowed mainly in Los Angeles County, but then also in surrounding counties.

Los Angeles, California Economy