It's Not Your Imagination: New Yorkers Are Invading L.A.
Experts lately have blamed a booming economy, relatively low gas prices and low unemployment for L.A.'s more-insane-than-usual traffic.
But some of those license plates you see on the 405 display the Statue of Liberty, so you know a specific invasion is afoot. A new report from professional networking site LinkedIn confirms your suspicions: NYC is in the house, and it's not just Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Diddy who are moving to Los Angeles.
"While the East versus West Coast rivalry has pervaded everything from hip-hop [to] the restaurant scene and real estate, when it comes to pursuing job opportunities, there seems to be a two-way pipeline between Lala [sic] Land and the Big Apple," a LinkedIn spokeswoman said via email.
But Los Angeles is winning. According to the site's August Workforce Report, more New Yorkers have recently moved to L.A. than vice versa. For every 10,000 Angelenos on LinkedIn, 7.3 are relatively fresh from New York, according to the report, making NYC the top out-of-state feeder for L.A. transplants.
"There are more people coming to L.A. than are going to New York," says LinkedIn’s economist, Guy Berger. "A lot of the moving is by people in the creative industries."
The site found that for every 10,000 users in NYC, 4.1 are recently from L.A. Berger explained that, for both cities, the "moved-from" figures indicate people who changed their location on their LinkedIn pages within the last year. He acknowledged that there could be some folks posting misleading locale info.
"I don't think either city would find the comparison flattering, but they're similar in many ways," Berger says. "You have similar sectors and similar skills sets — fashion, design, film, television, drama."
The business sector in the Golden State appears to be crushing it, with California expected by some economists to surpass the United Kingdom as the world's fifth largest economy this year.
"A few years ago the New York economy was doing better, but that's not the case anymore," Berger says. "L.A.'s economy is doing well and it has probably become more attractive."
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He says folks in higher-paying industries like film and television might be able to overlook L.A.'s out-of-control rents and cost of living, particularly if they come from a city — New York — with the same issues.
However, there's a limit to how much workers can withstand. Housing costs, for example, could be getting so high that companies will no longer want to call Los Angeles home. A recent report states that the "real reason" Toyota moved its North American headquarters from Torrance to Texas was the exorbitant price of shelter here.
"It might get to the point that L.A. is so expensive it's detracting from people who want to live there," Berger says. "But L.A. has that star power."
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