Explaining Southern California's economy

Hiring in Los Angeles expected to lag rest of state

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Marlith/Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

A new survey finds increased hiring, especially in the fields of leisure and hospitality, mining, and wholesale and retail trade. Locally, salespeople and trade-technicians are in especially high demand

15-percent of companies in greater Los Angeles say they will be hiring more employees in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 21-percent of companies statewide, according to a survey of thousands of companies by the staffing firm Manpower.

“In talking to employers, we certainly across the board are finding companies that are more ambitious that are looking at the talent they need as they go in 2015, talking about plans of expansion and growth,” said Carol Schenk, regional director for Manpower.

That means increased hiring, especially in the fields of leisure and hospitality, mining, and wholesale and retail trade. Locally, salespeople and trade-technicians are in especially high demand.

“If you have a skill set as a CMC programmer or a machinist, you have many, many choices available,” said Schenk.

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Hollywood studios charged with agreeing not to poach visual effects workers

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Dreamworks Entertainment

The Shrek series is mentioned in a lawsuit claiming Dreamworks Animation and other studios agreed not to poach visual effects workers from each other

Dreamworks, Disney and other studios are the targets of a new lawsuit alleging the companies agreed not to poach each others’ visual effects artists. 

In a complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, plaintiff Robert A. Nitsch, Jr. also names Pixar, Lucasfilm, Digital Domain 3.0, ImageMovers, ImageMovers Digital, Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks.  The complaint says the studios "secretly agreed to work together to deprive thousands of their workers of better wages and opportunities to advance their careers at other companies."  

http://www.scribd.com/doc/239107127/Class-action-against-major-studios

Nitsch, according to the complaint, was a Senior Character Effects Artist at DreamWorks Animation from 2007 to 2011 and a Technical Director at Sony Pictures Imageworks during 2004 and is now a resident of Massachusetts. 

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Why Warner Bros is cutting jobs: Call it the 'Murdoch defense'

Rupert Murdoch Delivers Keynote At The National Summit On Education Reform

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In July, Rupert Murdoch made a generous bid to buy Time Warner for $80 billion dollars. The stock shot up when he made the announcement, plummeted after he withdraw his offer in August, and hasn’t recovered.

Time Warner is planning to eliminate jobs at Burbank’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.

"It pains me to say this, positions will be eliminated—at every level—across the Studio," Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Tsujihara wrote in an internal memo sent yesterday that was obtained by KPCC. (You can read the full memo below) 

Tsujihara cited the need to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, which could be translated as: "We need to protect ourselves against Rupert Murdoch."

“Management is trying to prove that they are the right people to take these properties forward, not Fox, not Murdoch,” said Neil Macker, an equity analyst at Morningstar.

In July, Murdoch made a generous bid to buy Time Warner for $80 billion dollars. The stock shot up when he made the announcement, plummeted after he withdraw his offer in August, and hasn’t recovered.

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Clippers hire new lead advertising agency: Santa Monica-based RPA

Los Angeles Clippers Introduce Doc Rivers

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Doc Rivers will keep coaching the Clippers, but the team has picked a new advertising agency

The Los Angeles Clippers have hired Santa Monica-headquartered Rubin Postaer and Associates as its new lead advertising agency after a search that began this summer.   

A statement from RPA says the Clippers retained the firm to handle strategy, creative, media planning and buying, digital/social marketing and branded entertainment.

“The Los Angeles Clippers are poised for greatness,” said Kirt Danner, Senior Vice President at RPA in the statement.  “The soon-to-launch campaign will help the franchise stand out and seize this unique opportunity to gain a competitive edge and increase its fan base.”

The Clippers are looking for a fresh publicity start after a scandal brought down past owner Donald Sterling and led to the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  Almost a month ago, Ad-Age reported the Clippers were conducting a search for a new agency, led by Boston-based Pile and Co.  

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Why are electric vehicle sales slowing down?

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Toyota Prius hybrid model cars wait for customers at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood.

This afternoon Tesla Motors officially announced it will build its new $5-billion battery factory in Nevada. But when it comes to Tesla sales, they are down slightly this year while the market for electric cars as a whole is down much more.

That bucks the overall trend for car sales, which are up 5 percent this year, But it’s the inverse for electric car sales, which are off 4.8 percent, according to a new analysis from the car-buying website Edmunds.com.

“I was surprised, because like a lot of people I look on the road and see a lot more electric vehicles and a lot more hybrids," said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds.com.

Caldwell admits that’s probably because she lives in the hybrid capital, Los Angeles.

All-electric and plug-in cars have been selling well, up 34.9 percent and 44.3 percent this year, respectively. But those kinds of vehicles only make up a fraction of the overall electric market, which is dominated by traditional hybrids, which Caldwell says has become oversaturated.

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