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Regional Economy Strategy and Data

Past Summits

Image: The Eighth Annual Southern California Economic Summit

The Cost of Not Housing
November 9, 2017

The L.A. Hotel Downtown

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Southern California is no stranger to the housing crisis. While home and rental prices continue to climb, new construction has not kept pace with the region’s population and economic growth. In order to remain a national and international economic powerhouse, Southern California must consider the impact of the housing crisis on our economy. From stemming corporate moves to other states, to balancing local residential and retail development, to finding housing solutions for existing Southern Californians, the policy issues around housing and the economy are intricately intertwined. To solve the housing problem is to solve an economic problem.

SCAG, in partnership with the Southern California Leadership Council, co-hosted the Eighth Annual Southern California Economic Summit at The L.A. Hotel Downtown in the heart of Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 9. Local civic and business leaders were in attendance to assess the state of the region’s economy, discuss the region’s housing needs and look at ways to face the challenges that housing affordability poses to local, regional and statewide economies.





Picture Collage of California Housing Summit Event from October 11, 2016

Southern California has been making a steady economic recovery from the Great Recession, according to a series of new reports presented at the Southern California Economic Summit on Dec. 1 in downtown Los Angeles. More than 400 of the region’s government, business and community leaders convened at the event to hear SCAG’s independent team of economists provide an overview of the state of the region's economy, as well as updates on some of the region’s most pressing issues.

Reports presented during the session showed that Southern California has added more than 850,000 jobs since the Great Recession bottomed out and is poised to continue its steady growth in 2017. The afternoon session featured a spirited discussion on how innovation from our region’s key industries is generating needed growth. The program was bookended by remarks from former California Governor Gray Davis and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on promoting job growth and building an inclusive economy.

Attendees were engaged at the conference and online, and an archived Twitter conversation is available for viewing. Media coverage following the event from the Ventura County Star, Los Angeles Daily News and Victorville Daily Press has highlighted the challenges our region faces for future job growth and increases in median wages, but also the ongoing improvement of our region’s economy.




The Southern California Association of Governments and the Southern California Leadership Council co-hosted the Sixth Annual Southern California Economic Summit on January 7, 2016. The event highlighted opportunities for growth and updates on the region’s most important industry sectors. In addition, this year’s event featured a discussion on the economic analysis and job creation benefits of the Draft 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. State and local elected officials, public and private sector CEOs, business and labor leaders, stakeholder agency representatives and city managers were in attendance as we looked at ways in which we can build a stronger, more prosperous and sustainable Southern California.



SCAG and the Southern California Leadership Council hosted the Fifth Annual Southern California Economic Recovery & Job Creation Summit on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Building upon the discussions at SCAG’s 50 Years into the War on Poverty event held this past August, the Economic Summit will highlight opportunity areas for collaboration and pinpoint key economic strategies that will provide good-paying jobs and revitalize the economy.

The event highlighted reports from the region’s top economists, which noted a that there was a seismic shift that has taken place as lowpaying jobs with minimal education requirements have replaced higher-paying positions that once sustained Southern California’s middle class. To combat this downward trend, significant efforts must be made to overcome challenges to providing quality training and education for the region's workforce now, as well as in the future.







The 4th Annual Southern California Economic Recovery & Job Creation Summit was held on December 5, 2013 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Following the keynote address from California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, SCAG's team of economists provided very sobering news regarding poverty (population in poverty increased by over 1.3 million over the last 20 years to 3.2 million today, and 1-in-4 children now are in poverty) and low educational attainment rates in the SCAG region compared to the rest of the state. These combined facts have led to economic experts forecasting an insufficient educated future workforce to sustain our region's and cities’ economic viability.
There was immense interest in the Economic Summit, which itself helped foster dialogue following the event. SCAG and the Southern California Leadership Council held another event, Fifty Years into the War on Poverty, on August 20, 2014 at the California Science Center, which brought together non-profit, faith-based, business, workforce, and economic development experts to discuss potential solutions to the region's poverty crisis.

Image for 2012 Economic Summit
Hundreds of business, labor, legislative, and locally elected officials convened in downtown Los Angeles at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel to discuss what action is required to Accelerate Southern California’s Economic Recovery. The Third Annual Economic Summit was jointly held by the Southern California Association of Governments and the Southern California Leadership Council.
The highlight of the Economic Summit was the unveiling of an economic analysis conducted by SCAG’s team of independent economic advisors, which looked at the economic impacts of accelerating project delivery, moving a 5-year tranche of the 2012–2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy forward 5 years.

Header Image for 2010 Economic Summit

The inaugural Economic Summit was held on December 2, 2010 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. In partnership with the Southern California Leadership Council and other business leaders, SCAG conducted a successful economic summit attended by over 300 business and community leaders to review the information prepared by the late Jack Kyser, SCAG Chief Economic Advisor and his team of experts.

Economists were asked to compare the pre-recession to post-recession unemployment numbers in the region, State of California, and the United States. The purpose was to determine the number of jobs that would need to be created to return to peak level employment in each county.

The SCAG region was battered by the recession, with over 980,000 jobs lost from the pre-recession peak in 2007 to the trough in 2009.

The goal of the Summit was to identify and discuss next steps for immediate state partnership opportunities that will have the greatest impact on expediting job growth in Southern California.

PRESENTATION: Southern California's Road to Economic Recovery

Header Image for 2011 Economic Summit
Over 350 leaders attended the Transportation, Sustainability & Economic Recovery Summit on December 1, 2011 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The Summit featured the release of the Draft 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) for public review and comment. The Draft RTP/SCS presented for the first time a plan that linked transportation and land use planning, which was the culmination of over two years of outreach and input from throughout the SCAG region.

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