The lack of affordable residential options in Los Angeles is creating a major problem in recruiting and retaining workers for the city’s leading industries, according to a new report released by the USC Price Center for Social Innovation and the Los Angeles Business Council Institute.
The report, titled “The Affordable Housing Crisis in Los Angeles: Impacts to LA’s Fastest Growing Companies
,” detailed that the local housing environment is impacting companies with in the health care and social services industries, the hospitality sector and the professional, scientific and technical services fields. The study noted that wages paid by companies in these industries are not keeping pace with local housing costs—for example, more than two-thirds of workers in the tourism trade earn less than $25,000 annually while the median annual wage for those working as a home health aide is $22,600.
“Housing affordability is a significant concern for the Los Angeles workforce,” said Dr. Gary Painter, Director of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the newly created Homelessness Policy Research Institute. “Commute times are increasing for homeowners who are unable to afford housing in the L.A. region, and housing costs are outpacing wage growth for renters. These conditions are especially burdensome for the region’s entry-level and low-wage workers.”
Painter added that employers need to step up and address many of the problems that their workers face in trying to find affordable housing.
“Without direct and decisive action by employers to help their employees, we risk a situation where the rapid growth of our regional economy stalls and then stagnates as workers leave and pursue employment options elsewhere,” Painter added.