David Wagner

Business and Economy Reporter

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The Southern California economy is strong, so why are so many people living paycheck to paycheck? I tell the stories of these Angelenos, their struggles and the many creative ways they make a living. I share information on strategies that can put people on the path to greater prosperity.

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Stories by David Wagner

State Lawmakers Pass Bill To Reclassify Many CA Workers

California lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor’s desk that could bring about big changes for many jobs throughout the state.

California's High Poverty Rates Continue To Lead The Nation

By some measures, California is the wealthiest state in the country. But new data shows that California still has a higher poverty rate than any other state.

Why Older Uber Drivers Earn Less Than Younger Ones

Older workers may be able to find new opportunities in the gig economy. But research shows that on certain platforms, they’re making less than younger workers.

SoCal Grocery Workers Begin Voting On New Contract

Grocery employers and workers’ unions have announced a deal to raise wages for tens of thousands of employees across Southern California.

Workers Turn To Gig Economy As An ‘Alternative Safety Net’

It’s not just a new kind of work. It can also be a cushion for those who can’t rely on their main job to make ends meet.

Grocery Chains, Workers To Resume Contract Talks

The two sides remain far apart on a deal to increase pay for workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions.

Recycling Centers Are Getting Harder To Find In LA

The sharp decline in recycling centers means many customers have to travel farther to earn what can be a crucial source of income.

Riverside County Permits First Cook To Sell Homemade Meals

Last year, California passed a new law allowing home cooks to sell meals out of their own kitchens. But so far, only Riverside County is handing out permits.

CA Rents Are More Expensive Than Just About Anywhere Else

Californians have to earn nearly $35 an hour in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment and still have enough left over for other expenses.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Call In And Tell Us About Your Hustle

Immigrants take big risks coming to California. When they get here, many decide to take another risk: launching their own company.

LA Will Ban Landlords From Rejecting Housing Vouchers

Nearly half of Section 8 participants in L.A. end up losing their housing vouchers because they can’t find any landlords who will take them.

Most LA Landlords Turn Away Section 8 Renters. There Are New Rules To Stop Them

The new rules ban discrimination based on a renter's "source of income."

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Invigorate California's Economy

Immigrants tend to take more risks than people born in California when it comes to starting a business. Here’s why that’s a good thing for the state’s economy.

Organizers aim to put rent control on the ballot in Pasadena

Efforts to collect enough signatures to place a city rent control measure on the ballot last year failed. Tenant organizers think things will be different in 2020.

L.A. City Budget Is a Record $10.6 Billion

A booming economy is bringing in record revenue, but more people are living on the streets. The city has earmarked $458 million to fight homelessness.