Los Angeles has come a long way since the dark days of the Great Recession. Our task is to make sure the city is doing what it can to stimulate job and economic growth in Los Angeles. Earlier this week, I joined Mayor Garcetti to discuss the progress our local economy has made creating jobs and what we as a city are doing to help.
Working hand in hand with Mayor Garcetti, the City Council has gone to great lengths to improve the economy by slashing our budget deficit, reducing the business tax, and restoring critical services to aid neighborhoods and the business community. Right now, our city has the highest reserve fund in LA history, more than $313 million. With the positive recovery of our economy, we are repairing infrastructure, increasing services and focusing on job creation, which is what I have been doing for the past year as the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Job Creation.
For the past 20 years, Los Angeles has enjoyed a steady growth in new businesses, with 40,000 businesses created in one recent year alone. According to a new report by the UCLA Anderson Forecast, California's economy will grow faster this year than the national economy, and unemployment will drop to just five percent in early 2017.
Our Jobs Committee is creating a business team to help employers get what they need from the city. We're developing Jobs and Economic Development Incentive (JEDI) Zones and using the state tools we have to stimulate and support business growth and development. One of these tools, called the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD), assists cities, like Los Angeles, by financing construction, improvement and rehabilitation of public infrastructure-roads, bridges, water reclamation plants, parks and libraries-in a specific area. Another tool authorizes cities to create a Community Revitalization Investment Authority (CRIA) to invest a portion of property taxes gathered from local agencies in order to finance job creation, develop affordable housing and reduce high crime rates.
The city is also using its purchasing power to stimulate growth and give local businesses a competitive advantage when contracting with us.
There is much more to come and I'll keep you updated on what the Jobs Committee tackles in the coming weeks. We are exploring all possible incentives to encourage economic development in every neighborhood of LA.