Controller Maps How 300K+ COVID-19 Job Losses Have Devastated L.A.’s Low-Income Communities of Color

LOS ANGELES — Today, L.A. Controller Ron Galperin released an interactive, online data story that reveals an estimated 300,000 job losses locally since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. Located at lacontroller.org/joblosses, “COVID-19 Job Losses in L.A.” includes a dashboard that maps job losses by neighborhood and industry, along with graphs showing the impact on Los Angeles compared to state and national job loss numbers. Galperin’s research found that many of the neighborhoods impacted most by the economic shutdown are in Central, South and Northeast Los Angeles,  areas with higher concentrations of African American and Latino families, immigrants, low-income renters and single-parent households than other parts of the City.

“America lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, including hundreds of thousands in the City of Los Angeles — something we haven’t seen since the Great Depression,” said Controller Galperin. “The pandemic has amplified the devastation felt by low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, highlighting just how much economic injustice truly exists in our City. It is my hope that understanding which neighborhoods are most impacted will help City leaders pinpoint areas of L.A. that need additional resources to recover from the fallout of COVID-19. We have to be a City that not only speaks of equality, but acts to promote it.”

Since March 2020, unemployment has reached historic heights, with more than 4.7 million Californians filing claims, including 401,000 Angelenos — a more than 300 percent increase over February of this year. Galperin’s job losses data story illustrates how the widespread economic shutdown caused the evaporation of L.A. area jobs by highlighting the following:

    • L.A. County lost an estimated 685,000 jobs (including the City of L.A.) over the last two months — the largest month-over-month employment downturn in recent history. The City of L.A. lost an estimated 300,000+ jobs during that time period. For context, the next biggest decline for the entire county was 127,900 jobs lost in January 2009, the height of the Great Recession.
    • Neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles have an estimated 14.8 percent to 18 percent fewer residents employed now than before COVID-19 — with a citywide average of 16.2 percent — showing how the shutdown has impacted every community in Los Angeles.
    • The largest losses citywide were in these industries: 
      • Accommodation and Food Service: down 70,000 jobs
      • Retail Trade: down 33,000 jobs
      • Healthcare: down 27,000 jobs
      • Information: down 19,000 jobs
    • Neighborhood with the most total job losses: North Hollywood, where 17,000 residents lost their jobs.
    • Five neighborhoods with the highest percentage of job losses:
      • St. Elmo Village (Mid-City.):18 percent of residents lost their jobs — 28 percent worked in accommodation and food services, 13 percent in retail and 6 percent in healthcare.
      • Pico-Union:17.6 percent of residents lost their jobs — 27 percent worked in accommodation and food services, 12 percent in retail and 7 percent in healthcare.
      • Westlake: 17.3 percent of residents lost their jobs — 27 percent in accommodation and food services, 11 percent in retail and 7 percent in healthcare.
      • Harvard Heights (Central L.A.): 17.3 percent of residents lost their jobs — 27 percent in accommodation and food services, 11 percent retail and 9 percent in healthcare.
      • Central (Downtown/South L.A): 17.2 percent of residents lost their jobs — 23 percent in accommodation and food services, 12 percent retail and 10 percent manufacturing.

    View the job losses data story at lacontroller.org/joblosses or https://lacontroller.org/data-stories-and-maps/job-losses/.

    More COVID-19 Resources and Data Stories

    As L.A. Controller, Galperin seeks to use technology to better connect people with useful public information. He recently released a statewide food map of more than 1,800 food banks, pantries and emergency distribution locations, and a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Hub for the City of Los Angeles with a dashboard tracking local infection data, a map showing how stimulus checks will be distributed locally, and hundreds of federal, state and local resources organized in to 16 categories for public use.

    View all of Galperin’s data stories and resource maps: lacontroller.org/resourcemaps.

    Follow L.A. Controller Ron Galperin at @LAController on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    ###