Los Angeles

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Low-income jobs generally can't be done from home and aretherefore the most at risk for unemployment during socialdistancing. In Los Angeles, 14% of workers are at risk forunemployment due to the current economic upset, according to areport from the Apartment List. As a result, thecity is ranked eighth of the 50 largest metros in the nation forthe size of its workforce that can't work remotely.

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"The L.A. area has a diverse economy, but its entertainment andtourism industries are massive and—for the most part—considered'non-essential' by government standards," RobWarnock, research associate at Apartment List, tellsGlobeSt.com. "Furthermore, they are industries that don't lendthemselves well to working from home, so many of these workers areconsidered high-risk. The percentage cited in our report is likelya conservative estimate of who is actually feeling pressure; thefood industry in L.A. is huge and even though restaurants are'essential,' we know they are struggling and already laying offlarge numbers of workers"

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This significant segment of the Los Angeles workforce could havea significant impact on the local economy. "The fallout could beextreme economic hardship for workers who already sit towards thelower end of the income distribution. This is why governments atmultiple levels are trying to help people bridge the gap, withdirect payments and rent moratoriums," Warnock says. Los Angelesisn't the only market expected to see a hard hit. Las Vegas, Miamiand Orlando are also expected to see a significant hit to theirlocal economies. "We expect metros with large tourism andentertainment sectors—Las Vegas, Miami, and Orlando being others –to be hit hardest by the quarantine economy," says Warnock. "Thesituation in L.A. is further complicated by the large concentrationof immigrant and undocumented workers for whom it may be morecomplicated to access the government services that so many areturning to."

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In addition, this prong of the workforce could have a dominoeffect that impacts higher paying jobs. "If what we're seeing todayis the precursor to a more widespread recession – as manyeconomists are predicting—then people at all segments of the incomedistribution will be affected," says Warnock.

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The recovery out of this situation is difficult to predict, andlargely depends on when people get back to work. "Personally Ithink it depends on how long the public health portion of thecrisis carries on. If tomorrow suddenly everyone got the greenlight to go back to work, health consequences notwithstanding, Ithink many businesses would be able to bounce back," says Warnock.If we shelter-in-place for the long haul, businesses that employ alot of "high-risk" workers may be forced to close. The economicrecovery may be much slower if the pandemic ends and there aresignificantly fewer jobs for this sector of the workforce to comeback to."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.