Saturday , December 4 2021

All about Los Angeles’ biggest Covid rebound

America’s shortage of labour, products and services — provoked by Covid-19’s disruption of the global economy — has a platinum lining in Los Angeles.
Obscured by unprecedented supply-chain bottlenecks, California’s largest city and No. 2 in the US after New York, has no peers unloading, processing and transporting the nation’s imports from its two busiest ports. Being the supreme gateway for US trade helps make the Southern California area of about 630 square miles (Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim) the fastest-growing labour market among the five largest American metropolises during the past year and perennially No. 1 for factory workers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The almost 65 container ships at anchor waiting to discharge cargoes also masks their direct and indirect benefits to corporate Los Angeles, including a variety of financial firms chasing business from China to South Korea. Some 474 publicly traded companies in the region were national laggards until 2020, when they rebounded to become the best performers in the stock market among their peers in the top five cities. At the same time, home prices provided the greatest risk-adjusted return — appreciation with the lowest volatility — despite the shakeout caused by the pandemic.
“There is an undeniable effect on the success of the [ports] and the success of the economy,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, which has experienced 49% growth since 2020, the biggest increase in nine years based on data compiled by Bloomberg. Long Beach shipping expanding 29% during the same period means the two ports accounted for 37% of the US market since the pandemic, more than double the share of the Port of New York and New Jersey, the closest competitor. “We have the largest manufacturing employment base, about 390,000 individuals, based in Los Angeles County,” Seroka said. “One in nine jobs in Southern California’s five-county region emanate from this port, so whether you’re an administrator like myself, a dock worker, a truck driver or a logistician, a warehouse manager and everything in between, there are about a million paychecks that come out every week dedicated on business done here at this port complex.”
What makes Los Angeles unique is that “it is clearly the fastest route from North Asia to the interior of the country to our population of any port or gateway in the United States,” said Seroka.

—Bloomberg

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