What Could Change LA’s Manufacturing Dominance?


Jul 20

When we think of manufacturing, we often think of cars rolling off assembly lines in the Midwest or medical devices being designed and developed in urban factories. We may be less inclined to think of California sunshine and the Hollywood sign but maybe we should. That’s because Los Angeles is currently home to the most manufacturing workers in the United States.  LA’s long operating garment sector has kept the city in the place as the nation’s largest manufacturing center. However, that could become compromised as the City of Los Angeles will now attempt to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While it’s important that skilled workers are able to earn a living wage, will this destabilize LA’s manufacturing resilience?

Where Are the Most U.S. Manufacturing Workers? Los Angeles | The Wall Street Journal

 LA ManufacturingImage Source: The Wall Street Journal

“Some businesses worry that increasing the minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles to $15 an hour by 2020 could threaten Tinseltown’s place atop the manufacturing list. That’s because more than one in eight manufacturing employees in Los Angeles County, which includes the city, work in the apparel industry. That sector pays much lower wages than other factory jobs. Apparel workers in Los Angeles County earned an average of $655 a week. The average weekly wage for all manufacturing workers nationwide is $830 a week.”

Do you think these concerns over LA’s minimum wage and its status as manufacturing center make sense? Where do you stand on the issue?