COVID-19 Neighborhood Profile: Food Services Jobs in Pico-Union

These neighborhood profiles highlight the intersections of COVID-19 and other social and economic indicators in specific neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. They are a feature of the NDSC COVID-19 Dashboard.
According to a recent Pew Research report, workers in industries including restaurants and bars, hotels, and retail trade services are at a higher risk of virus-related layoffs due to countywide closures of many businesses. This is exasperated by the fact that Los Angeles is home to 26% of the state’s accommodation and food service jobs and 8.3% of all hospitality jobs. Young workers make up 24% of employment in these industries nationwide and will therefore be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 layoffs.  A recent spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths in LA County has halted reopening plans and have put an additional economic strain on already struggling businesses.
Pico-Union is a neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles. As of July 27th, Pico-Union ranked in the top 10 neighborhoods for total deaths due to COVID-19, with a death rate of 185 per 100,000 persons. Additionally, while only 6% of LA County’s workforce is employed in the accommodation and food services industry, 17% of Pico-Union’s employed population works in this industry. Further, over 10% of Pico Union’s population are between the ages of 18 and 24. Prior to the onset of the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, Pico-Union had a higher rate of unemployment (8.5%) compared to the rest of the county (6.8%). Given the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of the county, it is likely that residents of Pico-Union will suffer a disproportionate economic impact due to the prevalence of accommodation and food service jobs in the neighborhood.
Hover over the circles on the chart below to see the percent of workers employed in the accommodation & food services industry, the percent of the population that is ages 18 to 24, and the unemployment rate in a specific neighborhood. 

Molly Creighton
Molly Creighton is a Master’s Student in the Public Policy Program at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Currently, she is a data researcher at the Price Center for Social Innovation where she collects, analyzes and disseminates LA neighborhood-level data through data stories to community partners through the Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC). She has also worked on jail reform initiatives in Alameda County, implementing a women’s health program within the county Jail. Her policy interests include sustainability, social justice and the intersection of mental health and incarceration. 
Young workers likely to be hard hit as COVID-19 strikes a blow to restaurants and other service sector jobs. Pew Research CenterLink

COVID-19 cuts deep into LA jobs: Hospitality, entertainment sectors drive unemployment results. Los Angeles Business JournalLink