OF THE CIVIL UNREST
One of the objectives
of EDD's employer survey was to gather data that would help assess
the effects on employment caused by the destruction of businesses
during the unrest. Prior to the survey, a preliminary attempt
was made to estimate the number of jobs lost from the civil unrest
by matching UI employer records with damaged-site addresses. Because
of address deficiencies, the match was only partially successful.
Data gathered in the survey, although limited by a low response
rate from businesses at damaged sites, were used with other data
sources to estimate the effect on employment.
EDD has estimated that the potential long-term jobs lost as a
direct result of the civil unrest totaled 11,500, and that these
jobs would have normally generated an annual payroll of about
- The method used to
calculate the jobs and wages lost was as follows:
- An employer worksite-address
file was constructed from EDD employer records and from a recent
survey that verified worksite addresses of firms in Los Angeles
County. These data sources provided employment and wages paid,
- Additional employers
that were not in the UI-tax reporting system were identified through
other sources, including the Los Angeles City Clerk business license
file, and the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program (see Civil Unrest Employer Survey ).
- The resulting list
of employers was matched with a list of addresses of severely
damaged or destroyed buildings (see Profile of Residents in the Civil Unrest Area ). This match produced
a list of employers located at the damaged sites.
- For non-UI-covered
employers that were identified, an employment estimate was obtained
either directly from the EDD employer survey or from an estimate
derived from survey responses from similar types of firms.
- The estimate of lost
wages for employers in the UI-tax system was extracted from quarterly
tax reports. For employers not in this system, wages were estimated
based on the number of employees working at the worksite and by
applying the average wages paid by similar-sized firms within
the UI-tax system to the non-UI establishments.
- In making the job-loss
projection, it was assumed that employment and wages at UI-covered
firms immediately preceding the civil unrest were the same as
in prior periods covered by the UI-tax returns. It was also assumed
that any employer identified as being located in a building that
was rendered unusable during the unrest was not likely to be back
in business for a considerable period of time, if at all.
The total estimated long-term job loss is probably a conservative
figure. Apart from the inherent difficulty of making matches of
street addresses by computer, the method used very likely missed
a number of small family-owned businesses which would not have
been identified by the UI-tax system, or through other sources.
The Los Angeles Job Losses in Perspective
The loss of life, the physical destruction, and the social disruption
that resulted from the Los Angeles civil unrest were of unprecedented
proportions. The matter of lost jobs and income, though not as
dramatic as the more immediate effects of the unrest, also have
had a serious effect on the residents of Los Angeles County, and
in particular on the residents of the affected areas. However,
this employment loss, serious and traumatic as ft was, occurred
at the end of a twelve-month period during which an estimated
108,000 jobs disappeared from the county's labor market. Moreover,
if countywide employment had continued to grow during the 1987-92
period at the same rate as it did between 1977 and 1987, employment
in the county would have been 496,000 greater than it actually
was in April 1992.
According to the 1990 Census, White males in Los Angeles County
had an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent and a civilian labor force
participation rate of 77.5 percent. For all persons in the labor
force to have experienced that same unemployment rate, and for
all males to have participated in the labor force at the same
rates as did White males, would have required 180,800 additional
jobs at the time of the same census. For the 10 high percentage
minority communities cited in this study (see Table 1), that number
would have been about 60,000 jobs.
Another way of assessing the 1990 labor force experience of workers
in Los Angeles County would be to apply certain national labor
force rates that existed in 1969--the year marking the lowest
jobless rate since the Korean War-to 1990 census data for the
county. If the following 1969 conditions had held in 1990:
a) 75.7 percent of all civilian males 16 years and over participating
in the labor force, and
b) unemployment rates of 4.7 percent for women and 2.8 percent
then a total of 350,200 additional persons would have been working
in Los Angeles County, or 8.3 percent more than the total reported
in the 1990 Census.
Analysis of the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest
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