Unemployment in Black Cities: Loop21 Explores Los Angeles
1 year ago
As part of our continuing series, we look at black unemployment in “La La Land."
Even locals will admit that Los Angeles is a hard city to get a proper grip on. Unlike older American municipalities, it resists easy identification and characterization. This is largely because of its unusual history and geography; essentially, it’s a crazy-quilt of decentralized communities bundled together in a single loose, sprawling entity.
Combine that with a dense population composed of every nationality imaginable, and you’ve got a thick ethnic soup. In most parts of the city, it’s rare to be among a crowd that consists of only a single race of people. That said, certain communities make up the bulk of the population in big neighborhoods. East L.A., for example, is host to much of the city’s considerable Hispanic population (much of this, in turn, is comprised of Mexican immigrants or their direct descendants). The black community, meanwhile, still makes up the bulk of the population of South Central (or South L.A., as the city’s trying to rebrand the area).
L.A. is a city for strivers, a big and famous place where people come to succeed. Like many of the world’s major cities, that means a huge and ever-growing population. Los Angeles County (which encompasses nearby communities like Malibu and Long Beach that are separate from the county’s namesake city) had a population of 9.8 million souls according to the 2010 census. This was a 3% increase over the figure for the year 2000. That might not sound like much, but in absolute terms that meant an increase of around 400,000 people. Averaged out, 40,000 people every year arrive in the L.A. area.