Have neighborhood rents finally topped out? Los Angeles’ high rents are impacting the city’s demographics, as young people leave the city for more affordable metros elsewhere in the country. A new report from Apartment List analyzed the Census data of 18- to 34-year olds from 2005 to 2015 and found the number of millennials living in Los Angeles dropped 7.4% in 10 years. This significant decline puts LA at 48th, out of 50 U.S. metro areas in millennial population growth.
Millennials commonly share two characteristics: a tendency to move quickly from job-to-job and a boatload of student loan debt. Given these dilemmas, their #1 and #2 priorities when choosing a place to live should be:
- Cost of living versus income.
- Securing employment at a place we are pleased to work long-term
A new UCLA Labor Center report titled, “Young Workers in L.A.: A Snapshot,” concludes that more than half of Los Angeles County’s “young workers” — 57% of those ages 18 to 29 — are stuck in low-wage jobs. The report defines low wage as $13.38 an hour or less. Young adults in low-wage jobs in the county make a median hourly income of $9.04, UCLA concludes. More than 66% of these low-wage workers are Latino, the school says.
The UCLA Labor Center also concluded that exactly one in every four workers in L.A. is between the age of 18 and 29. More than one in four (26.8%) have a bachelor’s degree or higher; that compares with 15.6% in 1980. Nine out have graduated from high school. Almost one in five of these workers is a parent, and one-third are head of a household, according to the report.
The biggest job sectors for L.A. County’s young workers are retail and restaurants and bars. About half of young workers “live independently; 62% rent; and almost one in 10 live below the poverty line
The high cost of rent combined with LA’s sluggish salaries is creating a deterrent for young people from moving to the City of the Angeles. Those that have moved here are paying well over the recommended 30% of their income on rent.
Beyond renting, “Fewer millennials are settling in L.A.,” notes Andrew Woo, Apartment List’s director of data science. There’s a lot working against millennials aiming to put down roots in Los Angeles.”
Meanwhile, populations of young people are booming in “affordable” metros such as Houston and Austin, which saw double-digit growth in their millennial population. Apartment List says the jobs sectors of both cities saw “significant income growth.”