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Our Mission

The Economic Roundtable is a non-profit, public benefit corporation organized to conduct economic, social and environmental research that contributes to the sustainability of individuals and communities.

The Economic Roundtable seeks to respect the needs and goals of all neighborhoods and communities of interest affected by its work.

Research findings are made readily available to public policy makers, affected communities, and the general public.

Recent Research

  • Economic Impact of Los Angeles Street VendorsNew
    Los Angeles has an estimated 10,000 street vendors, the ranks of which have grown since the Great Recession according the LA Times. Street vendors generate over $100 million in annual sales of food and merchandise. The Economic Roundtable analyzed the economic impacts that sales of food by street vendors had on the local economy for the LA Street Vendor campaign. We found that for every dollar earned by LA street vendors, $1.60 of economic benefits is realized.
    PDF [View and Download this Fact Sheet]

  • Sinking Underground: The Growing Informal Economy in California ConstructionNew



    Construction is a $152 billion industry in California, employing 895,000 workers. One out of six construction workers in the Golden State, that is 143,900, sank into the informal economy in 2011. Informal employment in the construction industry increased by 400 percent since 1972. Informal construction workers earn about half of what their formal counterparts bring home and their households are three times more likely to live in poverty. This impacts all Californians because of the $774 million informal tax gap.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

  • The Public Cost of the Informal Economy to CaliforniaNew
    California, named the Golden State to commemorate the discovery of gold, is now the home to 6.2 million who are out of work, underemployed, or dropped out of the labor force and no longer searching for a job, as reported in the Los Angeles Times on August 3, 2014. We are tied with Nevada as the states with the highest rate of labor underutilization in June 2014. How are 38 million Californian workers and families surviving, and at what cost to the Golden State? Read and download our latest fact sheet on the public cost of the informal economy in California.
    PDF [View and Download this Fact Sheet]


  • Repaying Hospitality: Economic Impacts of Raising Hotel Workers Wages and Benefits in the City of Los Angeles

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    A $15.37 minimum wage for Los Angeles hotels with 100 or more rooms would affect over 5,000 low-wage hotel workers, including housekeepers, janitors, banquet servers, bellhops and desk clerks. The twenty year trend for hotel growth and rising hotel occupancy and revenue support the finding that the proposed new minimum wage is feasible for the hotel industry in Los Angeles. Underwritten by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.
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  • Cap-and-Trade Investments Addressing Housing and Homeless Needs

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    California’s legislature and governor are considering allocating a portion of the anticipated $3 to $5 billion annual revenue from the Cap-and-Trade Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for affordable housing located near transit hubs in order to reduce automobile travel and accompanying emissions. Especially large reductions in GHG emissions can come from housing 10th decile homeless residents because 1) frequent trips in ambulances and police cars will be replaced by use of public transit when they are housed and 2) they spend a large amount of time in hospitals and jails, which are 50 times more energy-intensive per occupant than conventional housing. The accompanying letter to Governor Brown recommends setting aside ten percent or more of the affordable housing allocation for 10th decile homeless residents. California residents are requested to share this information with their legislators.
    PDF [View and Download this Letter]


  • Effects of a Fifteen Dollar an Hour Minimum Wage in the City of Los Angeles New

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    The City of Los Angeles labor force creates over $200 billion in added value each year. Yet 46 percent of workers do not receive a sufficient share of the value they create to support a basic standard of living. Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour will require reallocating just 4 percent of overall industry revenue in Los Angeles. This wage increase will generate $9.2 billion in increased local sales each year, creating 64,700 new jobs. Underwritten by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]


  • Getting Home: Outcomes from Housing High Cost Homeless Hospital Patients New

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    This evaluation of outcomes for the first 163 patients screened with the triage tools found that every $1 dollar in local funds spent to house and support 10th decile patients reduces public and hospital costs for individuals who are housed by $2 in the first year and $6 in subsequent years. The most difficult problem is long delays in obtaining permanent supportive housing. Underwritten by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, UniHealth Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Economic Roundtable.
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  • Stabilizing Homeless Adults in Crisis: Public Costs for Homeless Clients of San Francisco’s Collaborative Courts



    Clients of San Francisco’s Collaborative Courts who are experiencing homelessness often have recurrent encounters with hospitals and jails, resulting in high public costs. Identifying these clients and understanding their costs points the way toward cost-effective investments in housing and supportive services that reduce net public outlays. Co-occurent psychosis and substance abuse are flags for the likelihood of high public costs. Underwritten by the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Bay Area office.
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  • Hospital to Home: Triage Tool IIa Improved and More Accurate

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    The statistical formulas used in this screening tool have been upgraded to make more accurate use of demographic and medical information for identifying homeless individuals with the most acute needs and the highest public costs – the 10th decile. The information used for screening remains unchanged but the improved formulas are more accurate and include a slightly larger share of individuals in the 10th decile.
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  • Building a Sustainable Rural Economy: Mariposa, California

    Building a Sustainable Rural Economy: Mariposa, California

    The 25¢ coin that was minted to commemorate California shows John Muir admiring the granite walls of Yosemite. Mariposa County is home to Yosemite, one of California’s most beloved places. The county’s economy does not provide enough jobs for all of the residents who need to work and it is too small to capture many of the “multipliers” from local expenditures. However, there are opportunities for vertical integration in food production and distribution, and for targeted support of local industries that pay higher wages and reach external markets.
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  • Hospital to Home: Triage Tool II for Identifying Homeless Patients in Crisis

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    This system-based tool uses the rich information held by hospitals and affiliated clinics to identify homeless patients with ongoing health crises that create extremely high public costs. The tool equips health care providers to document the need of these patients first priority access to the scarce supply of affordable housing with supportive services. Underwritten by the Economic Roundtable.
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  • Jobs, Wages and Housing: Affordable Housing Benefit Fee Study

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    This study documents the connection between property development and demand for affordable housing in Los Angeles. This provides the basis for a fee structure to offset some of the demand for affordable housing generated by new projects. A fee would generate $35 to $110 million a year in revenue, depending on the level of the fee. This funding would help house 530,000 Los Angeles households that cannot afford market-rate rental housing. Underwritten by the City of Los Angeles.
    Download [Download]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]


  • Stepping Up for Veterans Standing Down: Information About Veterans Living in Los Angeles County

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    The number of veterans in Los Angeles County returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to grow from 36,000 in 2011 to over 60,000 by 2017. Many face challenges in finding employment, rising out of poverty, coping with disabilities, obtaining education, and finding decent housing. This report supports efforts of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and other organizations to help post-9/11 veterans find sustaining jobs and reintegrate successfully into civilian life. Underwritten by United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
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  • Getting to Work: Unemployment and Economic Recovery in Los Angeles

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    Over a fifth of Los Angeles County’s labor force is unemployed or under-employed. Under-employment in LA peaked at the end of 2010, but remains 43 percent higher than the U.S. rate. The most important tools of local government for rebuilding the economy are indirect but very powerful over the long term, if used well. This includes decisions over the use of land, the transportation infrastructure, and the education and training of residents. Underwritten by the Pat Brown Institute and the Economic Roundtable
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  • Equity below the Wing

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    Many runway jobs of baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners at Los Angeles International Airport have been outsourced to labor contractors, resulting in reduced wages and benefits for workers. For a small, incremental cost passed along to passengers, meaningful improvement can be made in the standard of living and health benefits of LAX airside workers, which will spark significant sales and tax multiplier effects for the Los Angeles region Underwritten by Good Jobs LA.
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  • Rental Housing 2011: The State of Rental Housing in the City of Los Angeles

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    The good news for renters is that the size of the rental inventory has increased, expanding housing choices and reducing rent increases. The bad news is that a majority of renters are rent burdened, paying over 30 percent of their income for rent, and a third are severely rent burdened, paying half or more of their income for rent. Underwritten by the Pat Brown Institute and the Economic Roundtable.
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  • Water Use Efficiency and Jobs

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    Public investments in water use efficiency projects stimulate economic activity that is twice as great as the initial investment. One person-year of employment is created for each $72,400 that is invested. Underwritten by the City of Los Angeles, PIPE, IAMPO and NITCC.
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  • Crisis Indicator: Triage Tool for Identifying Homeless Adults in Crisis

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    The triage tool, or crisis indicator, identifies homeless individuals in hospitals and jails who have continuing crises in their lives that create very high public costs. The triage tool for identifying high-need individuals is provided along with the report. Underwritten by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
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  • Dividends of a Hand Up: Public Benefits of Moving Indigent Adults with Disabilities onto SSI

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    Examines potential county-level public savings from moving individuals with disabilities who are General Relief recipients, medically indigent hospital patients, and homeless hospital patients onto SSI and Medi-Cal.  Prepared under the auspices of the Health Consumer Alliance of California.
    Download [Download]
            Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]

  • Where We Sleep: Costs when Homeless and Housed in Los Angeles

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    The most expensive ten percent of homeless adults account for over half of all public costs and have cost reductions of 71 percent, when in supportive housing. Prepared for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
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  • Economic Study of the RSO and the Los Angeles Housing Market

    Rental Housing 2011 image

    Severe overcrowding in Los Angeles rental housing fell 63 percent, but 58 percent of renters are rent-burdened, paying 30 percent or more of their income for rent. Prepared for the City of Los Angeles.
    Download [Download Report]         Obtain hard-copy versions of reports [View Details]
            Download [Download RSO Study Data]

All of our older reports, many previously unavailable for download, are now on-line. View our publications.

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News

View Responses to our Survey of Frequent Readers conducted in April 2014. Their recommendations will help update the Economic Roundtable logo and web site.

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National Social Innovation Grant awarded to Economic Roundtable Team to build a cross-sector network of health care and housing partners to identify, engage, and house the highest-need and highest-cost homeless residents of Los Angeles County, 2012-2014. This is the 10th Decile Project:

Obtain hard-copy versions of reports View Project Details

Who is in the 10th Decile? It is people - residents of our communities - who are homeless, disabled, and who have high levels of need (housing, accessing healthcare, and affording other basic needs), as well as high public costs from public assistance, recurring visits to emergency rooms, unpaid bills for health services, stints in the justice system, etc. They are also people for whom, once they are housed, we see the greatest reductions in their public costs.

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economicrt@earthlink.net  •  (213) 892-8104

315 West Ninth Street, Suite 1209  •  Los Angeles, California  90015-4213  •  United States
economicrt@earthlink.net  •  (213) 892-8104