Los Angeles Population Slump!

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Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Is it wrong to chuckle over the latest U.S. Census numbers reminding us, in this strange town run by City Hall density hawks wedded to "compact housing" and the "construction crane as the official city bird," that L.A. population growth has stagnated?

As in, we're barely adding any new population despite huge projections embraced by the often-wrong Southern California Association of Governments? I heard from Joel Kotkin (whose New Geography blog site is pissing off Southern California political VIPs because his hard facts make their anecdotes look so silly), that L.A. gained only a teacup's worth of new residents in 2007.

We got slimed by The New York Times, which in its coverage of the Census data lumped L.A. in with "older cities" that have faded.

And it's not just slumping population growth. L.A. is doing extremely poorly in job vibrancy and creation, as measured by Kotkin and his colleagues in their latest "Where Are the Best Cities to Do Business?" rankings.

It turns out that L.A. has the worst job health of any big city west of the Mississippi, except horribly screwed-up Oakland. We plummeted again, in the rankings out this week. In the past two years, we've lost really good jobs in manufacturing and high-tech to cities run by smarter people prepared for a downturn. Meanwhile, City Hall puts its big economic efforts not into luring high-tech or manufacturing, but into constructing lots and lots of ... apartment complexes.

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