How many people work in West Hollywood and where?
How many people work in West Hollywood? The range of estimates is surprisingly wide. There are probably 25,000 to 31,000 jobs here. That’s if we take the latest number from each source.
We have five sources, each with its own methodology:
- The statistical section of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
- The statistical profile of West Hollywood prepared by the regional planning organization, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
- The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing survey of people, which reports how many say they are working and how they’re commuting
- The Census Bureau’s OnTheMap website, which reports the number of jobs in the context of commuting flows
- The Census Bureau’s Economic Census, a census of 4 million American businesses conducted every five years, which reports the number of employees by industry
The sources are color-coded in the chart below. You can see their estimates by hovering over or touching the points.
We don’t know which source is best or specifically why their estimates for the number of people who work in West Hollywood are so different. But we know the wide range isn’t unique to West Hollywood. For example, if we compare the SCAG estimate to an ACS number, the SCAG estimate is 14% higher for West Hollywood, 7% higher for Beverly Hills, and 12% lower for Los Angeles.
West Hollywood job growth or decline
Depending on the source and the base year, the City may have gained or lost jobs. For example, between 2007 and 2013, the SCAG numbers suggest an 8% drop in West Hollywood jobs, while the ACS numbers imply 7% growth. If we look at the City’s numbers, there are as many years with more jobs than 2015 as there are years with fewer jobs.
How does our job growth (or decline) compare to nearby cities? Again, it depends on the source. If we use the SCAG numbers for 2007 and 2013, West Hollywood lost fewer jobs on a percentage basis than Santa Monica, but more than Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Culver City. If we use three-year-average ACS numbers for periods ending in 2007 and 2013, West Hollywood’s job growth was higher than Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, but lower than Culver City.
Big employers — where people work in West Hollywood
Where do people work in West Hollywood? The City’s recently updated list of “principal employers” includes government entities, retailers, media/marketing companies, restaurants/clubs, and hotels. They have anywhere from 42 to 702 employees in West Hollywood. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives a sense of where some people work.
The biggest employer on the list is Metro. They have a bus garage and over 700 employees here, including drivers and mechanics. Also in the list’s top five are Target (retail), IAC (an internet media company), the City itself (with 287 employees/216 full-time equivalents), and the Sunset Marquis (hotel). The House of Blues was in the list’s top five but is now closed.
Together, the organizations on this list employ about 15% of the people who work in West Hollywood. Another 10%-plus work at home. That means 75% of workers, over 20,000 people, work elsewhere in the city.
Note: This article updates and combines two articles from December, 2015. It was revised on February 11, 2016, to clarify that the list of employers isn’t exhaustive and “biggest” means biggest on the list, and to add the City’s number of full-time equivalents.
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