What We Know
As a major international destination city, much of LA‘s economy is based in the service sector. In fact, LA’s tourism industry is one of our largest local employers, accounting for nearly one in ten jobs. The hard work that more than 334,000 LA County residents contribute in service related occupations in accommodations, food service, and other jobs is at the heart of this highly successful industry that serves as an important economic engine for all of Los Angeles.
Still, this key economic driver for Los Angeles is failing to live up to its potential as far too many of LA’s tourism workers are struggling to survive and to put food on the table for their families. One of LA’s greatest treasures – our tourism industry – is also a major source of poverty jobs in our city. Workers in the city of LA’s tourism industry are struggling to make ends meet. While wages have stagnated – hovering at only $10.55 per hour, or about $18,500 per year – the hospitality industry has not only established itself as one of LA’s largest low-wage sectors, but because hotels pay such meager wages it is an industry that is in effect hugely subsidized by taxpayer dollars, as workers in our city’s hotels often have little choice but to rely on a variety of public assistance programs to supplement the low wages they bring home from work.
Given the importance of LA’s hotel workers to our local economy, LAANE’s dedication to raising the quality of life for LA’s working families, and the economic power of LA’s hotel workers as consumers, it is perhaps no surprise that the centerpiece of LAANE’s policy approach in the hospitality industry is a Living Wage. Establishing Living Wage standards for workers in targeted industries serves not only to help lift families in our communities out of poverty, but has the potential to spark much-needed reinvestment in our city’s local businesses and our neighborhoods. The idea is simple. When low-wage workers earn a family-supporting wage, they are more likely to reinvest back into their local communities as they realize increased ability to pay for goods and services. This is the kind of economic stimulus that transformations communities and uplifts families.
Here’s a link to the LAX Living Wage Report
Here’s a link to the Tales of Two Cities Report