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Los Angeles Manufacturing - 8/4/15

When one thinks of Los Angeles, one might have visions of movie stars, producers, surfers, retirees and others basking in sunshine and warm temperatures.  But as it turns out, the Los Angeles area is also the largest center of manufacturing in the United States.  According to the Labor Department and as reported in the Wall Street Journal, LA has more manufacturing workers than any other region of the country, including New York, Chicago, Detroit or Philadelphia. 

While it is true that the number of manufacturing workers in L.A. has fallen significantly from twenty five years ago, the community maintains its leadership position with roughly five hundred and twenty four thousand manufacturing workers regionally.  That compares to a bit more than four hundred thousand manufacturing positions in Chicago and about two hundred and fifty thousand in Detroit. 

The Baltimore metropolitan area, once an industrial giant, is home to only fifty five thousand manufacturing positions.  Some pundits have expressed concern for LA’s large manufacturing sector because the city of Los Angeles is set to increase its minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour by twenty twenty.  Many local employees work in low wage apparel manufacturing occupations.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.