NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 24, 2008

Los Angeles is at the leading edge of a U.S. demographic trend, with half of its workforce immigrants, many of them unskilled and speaking little English.


  • As baby boomers retire, the same pattern will emerge across the country, reports the Los Angeles Times.
  • Demographers estimate that by 2025 most of the growth in the workforce will be from immigrants.
  • One-third of immigrants have not graduated from high school and 60 percent do not speak English fluently according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Ernesto Cortes Jr., Southwest regional director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, said Los Angeles is at a crossroads.

The question is: Are we going to be a 21st century city with shared prosperity, or a Third World city with an elite group on top and the majority at poverty or near poverty wages? he asked.  Right now we're headed toward becoming a Third World city.  But we can change that.

Source: "50 Percent of LA Workforce Are Immigrants," United Press International, April 21, 2008; Teresa Watanabe, "Lack of skilled workers will lead to fiscal crisis, experts say," Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2008.

For UPI text: 


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