A Look at Workers’ Satisfaction in Los Angeles

According to a recent news article from Los Angeles Weekly, more than 50 percent of millennials living and working in the Los Angeles area are not happy with their jobs. The article is focusing on college grads, who spent a great deal of money getting a college education and now have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and are working jobs they don’t like.

job-concept-1445172-4-mA recent report from UCLA’s Labor Center focusing on young workers in Los Angeles states that nearly 60 percent of workers between age 18 and age 29 are forced to take low-wage positions. In this particular study, UCLA defines low wage in the Los Angles area as $13.38 per hour. The study also defined millennials as anyone born in the first half of 1980 or born in the following 20 birth years. This is somewhat different that the standard definition of the generation, which includes people born later than 2000. The study has also determined that around two-thirds of Los Angeles’ workers in this target age group are Latino.

While much of the reason a worker is determined to be unhappy in this study is based upon assumption of people earning minimum wage or earning near minimum wage, as our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, this is a pretty safe assumption to make. It is hard to imagine how a worker is happy if he or she is not earning enough money to take care of his or her family or otherwise make ends meet.

While, on the one hand, more jobs mean lower unemployment rates, it doesn’t mean people are earning a wage on which they can live, and they are not satisfied in their professional lives. It should also be noted, the total number of young workers in Los Angeles has risen from 15.6 percent, as it was when the millennials were first born, to the roughly 27 percent it is now. In addition to the number of young workers, which has increased, the total number of college grads in the Los Angeles area has also increased. Currently, more than one in four young workers in the area has a college degree. In 1980, this number was around one in five, and the trend seems to be increasing. Also, this current figure for Los Angeles is significantly higher than the national average, in which nine of ten workers between age 18 and age 21 have earned a high school diploma or GED as their highest level of educational achievement.

One reason for this is because of how the economy works in Los Angeles. While some are heralding the area as America’s fastest growing technology center since Silicon Valley in the northern part of the state, most of the jobs people are actually working in LA are restaurants and retail establishments. Around half of these workers are living away from home trying to support themselves, and around 10 percent of young workers in this retail and restaurant industry are currently living below the poverty line.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

MORE THAN HALF OF L.A.’S MILLENNIALS WORK CRAPPY JOBS, October 1, 2015, LA Weekly, by Dennis Romero

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Walz v. Ameriprise Fin. Inc. – Mental Illness Discrimination Allegation, March 21, 2015, Orange County Disability Discrimination Lawyer Blog