L.A., Long Beach Ports are Major Economic Drivers: Research Center Report

Image: California Center for Jobs and the Economy.

The Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports are major economic drivers that support one out of every 51 jobs nationally, according to an economic report released May 21 by the Center for Jobs and the Economy.

In the report, the Sacramento-based nonprofit economic research center, which tracks and analyzes economic trends, details the global and regional economic impacts of the nation’s two busiest seaports, where roughly 226,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2022 were supported by the adjoining ports.

The region has benefited from the trade activity. About 1.85 million jobs were supported by the regional Trade Cluster, which also accounted for 15.9% of jobs in the region. Within the Southern California Trade Cluster, about $47.81 billion in state and local tax revenue was generated in 2022, according to the report.

Trade activities have also been a major source of middle-class wages for workers with lower skill sets, with about two-thirds of trade-related jobs only needing a high-school diploma or less.

For many naturalized and noncitizen immigrants, the trade sector is an entry point for employment. In 2022, immigrants accounted for 41.5% of trade workers, the report said.

“This report underscores not just the importance of the ports to the economy, but also how lost market share, state and local regulatory impacts, and ongoing cargo theft concerns have reduced economic output, jobs, and local tax revenue,” said Brooke Armour, president of the Center for Jobs and the Economy. “The ports are the heart of the global supply chain. Regional, state, and national policy directly affects the ports and the millions nationwide who rely on them for well-paying jobs.”

The full report is available at https://centerforjobs.org/wp-content/uploads/Telecommuting-FINAL.pdf.

By Karen Robes Meeks