Business & Economy

Forecast: LA County will add nearly 350,000 jobs over 5 years, but many won't pay well

Job openings for waiters and bartenders are expected to reach 114,680 over the next five years in Los Angeles.
Job openings for waiters and bartenders are expected to reach 114,680 over the next five years in Los Angeles.
Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

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Los Angeles County will see modest annual 1.5 percent employment growth over the next five years, meaning 346,100 jobs will be added in Los Angeles County and 122,700 jobs in the city of L.A., according to a new report released today from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

But the report's authors cautioned that many of the job gains will come in positions with relatively low pay, like waiters and janitors.

“The good news is that our region is adding jobs across most industries, and is expected to continue its expansion,” said Dr. Christine Cooper, LAEDC senior vice president and lead author of the report, in a written statement. “However, although we are seeing some job growth in high-paying industries, it is clear that not enough of our projected job gains are skilled, well-paying jobs that will support middle class incomes."

A field classified as administrative and support services, which includes everything from security guards to janitors to secretaries, will see the most openings during the next five years (115,770 positions), according to the LAEDC. Forty percent of workers are temporary, and they make low wages. Janitors make an average of $26,560 a year while secretaries do better at $38,240.

The next most openings (114,680 jobs) will be in food services for all the bartenders and waiters to serve L.A.'s growing population. Waiters make an average of $22,540 a year in L.A. County.

“What we would like to see is a little more job growth in higher-paying occupations,” said Cooper.

If you want a decent-paying job that requires some technical training but not a bachelor’s degree, Cooper recommends working in healthcare as a medical assistant, healthcare technician, or registered nurse, which pays an average salary of almost a hundred-thousand dollars a year in Los Angeles County. The LAEDC is expecting more than 14,000 registered nurse openings in the next five years.

Here are some other highlights as quoted from the report: