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

Your questions about the SoCal storm, answered

"Is the hillside behind my home safe? How full is Cachuma Reservoir? How do I know how much rain my area has received?" Here's what we've found out about questions you asked.

Why supermarkets stay open during fires and storms

During recent fires and mudslides in Southern California, supermarkets have stayed open when other businesses in affected areas start to close down.

Legal pot sales could come to Pasadena soon. But on whose terms?

Pasadena is one of the many California cities that has long sought to ban pot shops. But now, local officials are wrestling with how to embrace legalization.

What might fill SoCal's shuttered Toys 'R' Us stores?

The demise of Toys "R" Us could create room for offices, homes and movie theaters. Or closed stores could just sit empty.

Most LA retail employees don't have a predictable work schedule, study finds

A new report from the UCLA Labor Center finds that 77 percent of local retail workers receive their schedules a week or less ahead of time.

How California’s gold rush forged the path for today's tech innovators

The California Gold Rush redefined how Americans saw failure and success. Today, the state’s economy still benefits from entrepreneurs eager to take big chances.

What Trump's steel tariffs could mean for California

The President wants to help the Rust Belt, but a tariff on certain steel products in the early 2000s wasn't good for American jobs.

Would raising age limits decrease California gun sales?

Southern California gun store owners say they don't get many customers old enough to buy a rifle, but not yet old enough to buy a handgun.

LA's economy is strong — but not for all workers

We're doing better than we have since the recession. Although unemployment is below five percent, many of these jobs aren't stable or well-paying.

LA is still figuring out where pot shops can open

Some in the cannabis industry say the rules around where pot shops can locate have become so broad that, in certain cases, they might include traffic medians.

What stock market swings mean for California

Big losses on Wall Street should concern Californians — even those with no money in the stock market — because they can have a big impact on the state's budget.

Insurers could be on the hook for Montecito mudslide damage

Most homeowners' insurance policies exclude coverage for mudslides. But California's insurance commissioner says in the case of Montecito, insurers should pay out. Here's why.

Here's what 2018 tax changes mean for 4 California households

Four Southern California households at four different income levels shared their tax returns with us. Here's how the GOP's tax overhaul will affect each of them.

LA Times journalists vote to unionize amid turmoil

LA Times journalists vote to unionize as the paper's publisher, Ross Levinsohn, faces allegations of past "frat house behavior", and inappropriate conduct.

The mudslide closure of the 101 is hurting Santa Barbara businesses

A Santa Barbara County flower grower says a trucking route that usually takes three hours is now taking eight.