Report Says 64% of LA city employees don't live in Los Angeles

A recent report released by Controller Kenneth Mejia’s office reveals that a significant number of municipal employees, specifically six out of 10, did not reside in Los Angeles in 2022. This translates to approximately $3.6 billion in pay leaving the city.

In a recent development, Mejia has instructed his team to carry out a thorough analysis of the 2022 City of Los Angeles Employee Payroll. The findings of this analysis are quite striking – it has been revealed that a significant majority of city employees, excluding those from the Department of Water and Power, actually reside outside the city. To be precise, this accounts for approximately 64% of the workforce, which translates to around 32,066 employees. The total payroll for these individuals amounts to a staggering $3.6 billion.

According to Meija’s office, city employees are not obligated to reside within the city. A recent report highlights the advantages of city employees residing in the same city they work in. One key benefit is the ability to reinvest tax dollars back into the community, thereby boosting the city’s budget through increased local revenue.

This, in turn, allows for greater investment in city resources and services. Additionally, having city employees live locally helps to support the communities they serve. It also results in shorter commutes and faster response times during work emergencies. Moreover, this arrangement contributes to reduced traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and overall stress on workers and their families.

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Out of the total number of city employees, which is 32,066, a significant portion of them, approximately 6,350 employees or 20%, earned a salary below $50,000.

Approximately 3.6 out of every 10 city employees, excluding those from DWP, reside within the city. This accounts for around 18,246 employees, resulting in a payroll of $1.2 billion. Out of the total number of employees residing in the city, approximately 9,000 individuals, which accounts for 49% of the workforce, earned an annual income of less than $50,000.

A recent report by Meija revealed that a staggering 506 city employees are residing outside of the state, resulting in a significant payroll expenditure of $65 million. Notably, a striking 71% of these employees hail from the esteemed L.A. fire and police departments.

According to the report, a significant number of employees reside outside of the city. These employees are distributed across various departments.

  • Many of the employees, according to the story, live outside of the city. These workers are spread out among different areas.
  • Police made up about 81% of staff, which meant they were paid $1.45 billion;
  • About 77% of workers got a pension, which added $14 million to their pay; and
  • 75% of the workers at the Information Technology Agency were paid, which added up to $33 million in wages.

The report showed that more workers in the following areas lived in the city:

  • About 72% of employees were over 65, which cost the company $2.6 million in salary;
  • Recreation and Parks, which had about 70% of the workers and paid them $109 million;
  • 66% of the council’s workers, which added up to $23 million in payroll; and
  • about 63% of the staff at the library, which added up to $47 million in salary.

“Where people choose to live is the product of many factors — including affordability, lifestyle choices, and family ties,” the study says. “But a close match between city staff and the communities they serve strengthens not only the economic health of Los Angeles, it also strengthens the bond of connection and public trust.”

Targeted Local Hire is one of the city’s programs that tries to hire people from the area. But Mejia said he thinks the civil service system needs to be changed so that those chances go beyond entry-level jobs, which are usually lower paying than other city jobs.

The controller’s report says it’s important to hire people from the area because the city “suffers from chronic staffing vacancies where one out of every six jobs is unfilled.” The report says that employees, such as first responders, should be given incentives to live in the areas they serve.

“Continued progress toward promoting additional affordable housing in our city, especially workforce housing and transit-oriented community projects, can offer more and better choices that are affordable to city workers,” the report stated.

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