Los Angeles is where the world comes to innovate and turn today’s ideas into tomorrow’s innovations. Mayor Garcetti has overseen the strongest economic growth in more than a generation — with record employment, historic investments, and construction.
RECORD JOB GROWTH. Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 4.5% in six years, alongside record growth in employment that has resulted in more than 200,000 new jobs. This robust economic growth has been driven by a three-part economic strategy to support key industries, invest in infrastructure, and ensure all Angelenos are included in the City’s prosperity.
RAISING THE WAGE. Mayor Garcetti believes that hard work should be met with fair pay in our city. That’s why Los Angeles became the largest city, in the largest state in the nation, to get on a path to a $15 minimum wage — lifting incomes for more than 550,000 Angelenos. And when Los Angeles acted, L.A. County and surrounding cities followed until the entire State of California adopted a $15 wage. The minimum wage was raised to $15 for all workers as in July 2021, adding more than an estimated $2.4 billion as of 2019 in aggregate earnings for L.A. workers.
CUTTING TAXES FOR L.A. BUSINESSES. Mayor Garcetti enacted the City’s largest-ever business tax cut, delivering $90 million in tax relief to L.A. businesses which has put L.A. in a position for historic growth in the years to come. This has helped drive business registration in the City with more than 212,000 new businesses licensed in Los Angeles since Mayor Garcetti assumed office.
BRINGING HOLLYWOOD HOME. Hollywood is one of Los Angeles’ legacy industries — and for too long jobs slipped away to other cities and states. Mayor Garcetti is fighting for these jobs, which is why he led the coalition to triple the state’s film tax credit to $335 million a year. To date, that credit has delivered $19.3 billion dollars to our state and created 155,000 jobs.
HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, during the 2021 fiscal year, the City issued nearly 150,000 building permits for projects in the city, which equates to a total construction valuation of $6.12 billion. The City also permitted more than 17,600 dwelling units.
RECORD PORT, AIRPORT, TRAVEL AND TOURISM LEVELS. Los Angeles’ economy continues to set new records for tourism, travel, and Port cargo. These efforts paid off with international tourism in Los Angeles growing to a record 7.5 million visitors. In 2018, LAX broke its record for the total number of passengers for the fourth consecutive year with 87.5 million travelers passing through the airport. The Port of Los Angeles broke a record of its own, moving more cargo in 2018 than any year in its history — making it the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere.
LEADING THE GROWTH OF LA’S TECH RENAISSANCE. Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, from 2013 through 2018, venture capital investment in L.A. startups saw an annual growth rate of 25.3%, with a total of $9.580 billion invested in 1,754 firms in the City alone. Mayor Garcetti and the City Council pioneered a tax category within the City's business tax specifically for tech companies — a decision that has helped make Los Angeles the ninth leading startup ecosystem in the world, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017.
Mayor Garcetti also founded PledgeLA in partnership with Annenberg Tech in 2018. PledgeLA is a coalition of tech companies and venture capital firms that are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and community engagement. Each year, PledgeLA releases an annual survey on key DEI metrics. Additionally, the Pledge LA VC Internship program places underrepresented college and graduate students into Venture Capital internships. Through the Fund for South LA Founders, PledgeLA provided $25,000 grants and technical assistance to 20 South LA startups.
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY. Mayor Garcetti launched the LA Tech Talent Pipeline to influence how City Hall, educational institutions, and the workforce system develop curriculum, training, and employment opportunities for the next generation of tech talent. The program is a partnership between the Center for Innovation and Technology (Bixel Exchange), the City's YouthSource System, and more than 60 major tech industry partners. Since its launch in Summer 2017, the program has recruited and placed 300 participants in tech internships. Approximately 120 participants have received offers of employment following their internship.
INNOVATING L.A.’S MOBILITY SECTOR. In 2019, Mayor Garcetti launched Urban Movement Labs, a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership inviting companies, communities, and government to test new and sustainable solutions that meet Angelenos’ mobility needs. The initiative has brought in $3 million of public and private funding across the City, from a zero-emissions neighborhood shuttle in South L.A. to the City’s first Transportation Technology Innovation Zone in the San Fernando Valley. Urban Movement Labs is also building the workforce of the future for the future of aerospace: the Urban Air Mobility Partnership is the nation’s first city-led program to shape the future of sustainable, low-noise, and equitable urban airspace.
BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE WITH LA OPTIMIZED. An initiative of the Mayor's Office of Economic Development in collaboration with the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles (MFLA) and the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department , LA Optimized aims to bridge the digital divide by helping small businesses access the assistance they need to adapt and compete in the digital marketplace. In recognition of the setbacks small businesses faced during the pandemic, this program aims to provide the resources, tools, and services necessary to help them remain competitive, grow, and thrive. This is possible through the provision of technical services that help optimize or establish a business in the digital marketplace, creative professionals who help to develop individualized branding assets, and education that equips businesses to take advantage of online platforms and tools to grow and market their business.
MORE FEET IN THE DOOR. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Evolve Entertainment Fund (Evolve) is an alliance between the City of Los Angeles, industry leaders in entertainment and digital media, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions, dedicated to building career pathways into film, television, and music for women, people of color, and low-income Angelenos through paid internships, focused mentoring, and an ongoing series of educational workshops, panels, networking events, and company site visits. Launched in February 2018, Evolve has partnered with 160 entertainment companies, as well as 28 community and educational organizations, to open up professional pathways into film, television, music, and digital media for over 1,000 participants. To date, Evolve has directly secured 617 paid internships and 85 full-time jobs with leading companies across the entertainment industry.
DELIVERING SECOND CHANCES. In 2016, the Mayor's Office of Reentry secured an $8.93 million contract with CalTrans to provide transitional jobs for 1,300 formerly incarcerated Angelenos over three years as part of the New Roads To Second Chances program. To date, 56 percent of participants who completed New Roads in compliance with the program obtained permanent employment. In 2019, the Mayor's Office secured another $10.4 million contract with CalTrans to provide transitional jobs for 900 formerly incarcerated Angelenos over three years as part of New Roads To Second Chances. In July 2017, the Mayor's Office of Reentry was awarded $6 million in Proposition 47 savings by the state to fund Project imPACT, a year-long program that serves justice-involved individuals seeking employment. Participants receive ongoing support provided by a peer mentor and access to legal services. In June 2019, the Mayor's Office secured another $6 million grant to continue serving justice-affected individuals seeking employment through Project imPACT as well as a transformative mentor program with an in-reach component at a Youth Correctional Facility and continuing community-based post-release services.
SUPPORTING LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES. In 2017, the Mayor launched the Free Tax Prep Los Angeles campaign to connect families to no-cost tax preparation services to help them claim their State and Federal tax credits. As part of these efforts, all 16 of the City’s FamilySource Centers and community partners open their doors throughout the tax season to assist families with claiming their refunds, which can reach $9,000 for our most low-income households. Since the program's inception, the FamilySource Centers have helped almost 20,000 households file their tax forms — and in 2019 alone, the FSCs and partners served 12,812 L.A. area residents.
BRINGING DOWN BARRIERS. In 2015, the Mayor and City Council launched the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE), an innovative employment program for those with high barriers to employment, especially youth and adults who have been previously homeless or incarcerated. LA:RISE brings together non-profit social enterprises and the City’s WorkSource Centers to provide participants with free job training, paid work experience and supportive services — such as connections to housing, transportation and legal services — to support them on their path to self-sufficiency. Through Summer 2019, the program had placed more than 2,500 men and women with high barriers.