About Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the nation with an estimated January 1, 2017 population of 4,041,707. It is home to 39% of the population of the County of Los Angeles (County) and 11.5% of the area of the County. With an area of 470 square miles, Los Angeles is located in the southern part of the State of California and is the principal city of a metropolitan region that stretches from the City of Ventura to the north, to the City of San Clemente to the south, and to the City of San Bernardino to the east. Founded in 1781, Los Angeles was for its first century a provincial outpost under a succession of Spanish, Mexican, and American rule. The City was incorporated in 1850 under the provisions of a city charter. The current Charter was approved by the electorate on June 8, 1999 and became operative on July 1, 2000.

Local Economy

The City and its surrounding metropolitan region have continued to experience growth in population and in economic diversity. Tourism and hospitality, professional and business services, direct international trade, entertainment including motion picture and television production, and wholesale trade and logistics all contribute significantly to local employment. Emerging industries are largely technology driven, and include biomedical, digital information technology, and environmental technology. More established components of local industry include apparel, computer and electronic components, transportation equipment, fabricated metal and food.

Economic Forecast

Below is a historical comparison and forecast that reflects overall period to period improvement for the region. While total employment continues to improve, job additions are expected to slow as labor markets remain extremely tight. Employment in Los Angeles County industries grew in construction, reflecting the increased building of new housing and commercial units. The health care sector has been the largest contributor to employment. In 2018, the unemployment rate will dip by 0.10 percent and total nonfarm employment will increase by 1.1 percent according to Beacon Economics. With the economy back at full employment levels, personal income will rise by 4.0 percent over the next year and taxable sales will increase by 3.4 percent. Home values continued to climb but sales have slowed primarily due to tight housing supply. Single family construction is expected to grow 12.6 percent and multi-family housing is estimated to decline by 11.4 percent based on trends through the end of the year.

City Organization

The City operates under  mayor-council form of government. The Mayor supervises the administrative processes of the City and works with Council in matters relating to legislation, budget, and finance.The 15-member Council enacts ordinances, levies taxes, authorizes contracts and public improvements, adopts zoning and other land use contracts, and provides necessary resources for the budgetary departments and offices of the City. The City Attorney and City Controller are independently elected.

The City has 36 departments, bureaus, commissions, and offices for which operating funds are annually budgeted by the Council. The Department of Water and Power (DWP), Harbor Department, and Department of Airports are under the control of boards appointed by the mayor and confirmed by council.