Research Briefing | Sep 30, 2022

Los Angeles: Metro economy narrowly avoids contraction in 2023

Although it has recovered its lost film jobs and then some, Los Angeles shows a net decline of 0.8% since Q1 2020 which ranks in the bottom 20 of 50 metros. The decline is largely due to tourism-related sectors. LA is expected to recover all of its lost jobs in Q3 2024. The industries that have added the most jobs over the last two years include employment services (which consist mostly of temporary staff), film and sound recording, and couriers and express delivery services.

What you will learn:

  • Los Angeles has seen GDP growth of 6.7% from Q1 2020 to Q3 2022. This ranks in the top 20 of 50 metros. GDP growth has been led by manufacturing and film. We forecast positive but low GDP growth of 0.1% in 2023; thus, LA is expected to avoid a recession unlike half the top 50 metros. We forecast a five-year average annual GDP growth rate of 2.4% for 2022 to 2026 with manufacturing leading GDP growth followed by real estate.
  • After having lost ground to other metros prior to the pandemic, LA again rules the film and sound recording sector. It added 13,100 jobs (+10%) from Q1 2020 to Q3 2022, more than twice the number of jobs added in the US (5,100 jobs / 1.2%). LA’s film sector has also contributed 19% of total GDP growth since Q1 2020. The industry still benefits from the popularity of streaming series that soared during the pandemic.
  • LA is still plagued by its large tourism sector which, like most large tourism metros, has a net decline of 7.1%. Although Disneyland reported that it is operating at full capacity in May, LA’s tourism jobs are not expected to recover until late 2026, particularly at hotels.
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