LA's economy faces a "downward spiral" according to a new study by the Economic Roundtable. The nonprofit research group reports that the underground "cash economy" now employs 15% of the labor force in Los Angeles County. That means a growing number of employers are not paying their fair share for benefits and insurance. The rest of us make up the difference at a cost of $2 billion a year. Should employers be fined? Should the labor force be educated? What about illegal immigrants? We hear what that costs the rest of us and what might keep the "underground economy" from growing.
- Making News: Ralph's Indicted for Illegal Hiring during 2003 Market Strike
When Southern California grocery workers voted to strike two years ago, Ralph's locked out its employees. Now, the chain has been indicted for hiring back at least 1000 union workers, who crossed picket lines under false names and Social Security numbers. Ralph's faces 53 criminal counts, including identity fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Rick Icaza is President of Food and Commercial Workers Local 770.
Economic Roundtable's -Hopeful Workers, Marginal Jobs: LA's Off-The-Books Labor Force'
Los Angeles Times article on illegal immigration's effect on state, national economy