David Wagner

Business and Economy Reporter

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The Southern California economy is strong, so why are so many people living paycheck to paycheck? I tell the stories of these Angelenos, their struggles and the many creative ways they make a living. I share information on strategies that can put people on the path to greater prosperity.

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Stories by David Wagner

LA Rideshare Drivers Would Get $30/Hr Under New Proposal

Under the proposal, drivers would earn $15 in minimum hourly pay, plus another $15 to cover expenses such as gas, car insurance and maintenance.

LA City Council Proposes $30/Hr. Minimum For Uber And Lyft Drivers

Drivers said pay cuts from rideshare companies have left them struggling to afford L.A. rents on top of rising gas prices and necessary vehicle repairs.

Forever 21 Declares Bankruptcy Amid Physical Retail Struggles

Los Angeles-based Forever 21 says it will close up to 178 stores in the U.S. Analysts say clothing retail workers in L.A. may see repercussions.

Does California Need A Homelessness 'State Of Emergency'?

Governor Gavin Newsom's task force on homelessness met Friday in Los Angeles to discuss ideas for more quickly getting people off the streets.

LA Considering One-Year Ban On Cannabis Vaping Sales

Cannabis business owners in Los Angeles say banning vaping products at licensed shops would push customers to black market shops.

LA Is Building Very Little Housing For The Middle-Class

The city is falling far short of its goals when it comes to new low-income housing development. But it's doing an even worse job on housing for the middle class.

State Lawmakers Pass Bill To Reclassify Many CA Workers

California lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor’s desk that could bring about big changes for many jobs throughout the state.

California's High Poverty Rates Continue To Lead The Nation

By some measures, California is the wealthiest state in the country. But new data shows that California still has a higher poverty rate than any other state.

Why Older Uber Drivers Earn Less Than Younger Ones

Older workers may be able to find new opportunities in the gig economy. But research shows that on certain platforms, they’re making less than younger workers.

SoCal Grocery Workers Begin Voting On New Contract

Grocery employers and workers’ unions have announced a deal to raise wages for tens of thousands of employees across Southern California.

Workers Turn To Gig Economy As An ‘Alternative Safety Net’

It’s not just a new kind of work. It can also be a cushion for those who can’t rely on their main job to make ends meet.

Grocery Chains, Workers To Resume Contract Talks

The two sides remain far apart on a deal to increase pay for workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions.

Recycling Centers Are Getting Harder To Find In LA

The sharp decline in recycling centers means many customers have to travel farther to earn what can be a crucial source of income.

Riverside County Permits First Cook To Sell Homemade Meals

Last year, California passed a new law allowing home cooks to sell meals out of their own kitchens. But so far, only Riverside County is handing out permits.

CA Rents Are More Expensive Than Just About Anywhere Else

Californians have to earn nearly $35 an hour in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment and still have enough left over for other expenses.