The labour market in Los Angeles

Los Angeles skyline
Updated 2021-08-02 07:14

With the rate of unemployment at 11.5%, finding a job in Los Angeles is not exactly easy. However, the city is renowned for its unrivaled support of creativity, innovation, commerce, and entrepreneurship, boasting a slew of full-blown industries.

The real challenge for job seekers in Los Angeles may not be employment itself — but rather getting a job with a decent salary to support a desired lifestyle. Over half of LA's residents do not earn incomes that support a comfortable lifestyle in a city that is one of the most expensive in the US.

The contradictions in LA's economy

Los Angeles' economy is one of the biggest and most enviable in the country. But it also supports one of the largest and most diverse populations, so it's a zero-sum economic reality for many residents. However, the city continues to make dreams come true like only a few other cities can.

The star-studded city provides nearly unparalleled opportunities for people dreaming of stardom and also hosts the largest manufacturing base in the country. The port of Los Angeles is one of the most pivotal trade and commerce hubs in the Western Hemisphere, handling billions worth of goods every day.

The city's economy is also driven by a heavy concentration of multinational corporations, financial institutions, business services, and utility companies.

As such, the city's economy is highly diverse and technology-driven, geared towards trade, manufacturing, entertainment, and technological fields. Its support for creativity and innovation has earned it the moniker “the new Silicon Valley”.

The competition in L.A's labour market

L.A is synonymous with the entertainment industry, but other popular industries in the city include IT, green technology, trade and logistics, healthcare, and data science. L.A is also home to over 2,200 successful startups.

The biggest challenge in the job market for expats is obtaining a work permit. Another challenge is the need to convince employers to sponsor your foreign work visa as an expat. You will find it even harder to get a job in Los Angeles if you are not proficient in English.

It is always advisable for expats to secure a job before they arrive in the city, as this is the easiest way to get a visa and work permit. If you don't have a job waiting for you, then you must be prepared for a rigorous job search to find the perfect job. You need a CV and cover letter that marks you apart from other applicants.

You can find tons of opportunities through temp agencies and staffing companies, networking with friends and acquaintances, newspaper ads, sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and job boards, etc.

Wages in Los Angeles

The average salary in Los Angeles (as of May 2021, according to PayScale) stands at around $77,000. Software engineers earn an average of $129,000, mechanical engineers earn around $80,100, executive assistants make close to $58,000.

However, a comfortable lifestyle in the city often requires a six-figure income.

According to a GOBankingRates report published in April 2019, L.A residents need $136,208 to live comfortably as renters and $150,392 as homeowners.

Reports also show that you can live a decent lifestyle in a mid-range neighbourhood with $42,825 as a single individual or $92,250 as a family of 4.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.