Los Angeles is the nation's second greatest industrial and commercial center, after New York City.


are the leading source of employment in Los Angeles. Health, legal, and financial services are especially important. Also significant are services associated with the entertainment industry and those associated with tourism.


in Los Angeles is diverse. Of greatest importance is the aerospace industry, which includes the manufacturing of commercial and military aircraft and various space systems. In the aerospace industry, including research and development, the Los Angeles area is a national leader. Also significant are the assembly of automobiles and other vehicles and the making of tires. The electronics industry employs many people and has undergone enormous growth. Much of it is linked to national defense and space exploration.

Industries making machinery and fabricated-metal products are well developed. The petroleum industry, based partly on oil fields in and around Los Angeles, includes large-scale refining and the production of petrochemicals. A related activity is the manufacturing of oil-field equipment.

The food-processing and clothing industries are also important. Los Angeles sportswear and fashion clothing have a large national market. Other major industries include printing and publishing and the making of furniture, plastics, and clay and glass products.

Motion Pictures and Television

Los Angeles is probably best known for its movie and television industries. Hollywood is the traditional motion picture capital, although the industry is primarily centered in other sections and suburbs, such as Culver City, Burbank, and Universal City.

Three of the nation's four major television systems (ABC, Fox, and CBS) have network studios in Hollywood; the other (NBC) has its West Coast studios in nearby Burbank. There are also numerous other television studios in Los Angeles. Together, they produce many of the taped and filmed programs seen nationally.


Los Angeles is a major center for trade with nations of the Pacific and Far East. It is also the second largest wholesale and retail market in the nation. Most of the retail volume comes from stores in large shopping malls. With several of the nation's largest commercial banks, numerous foreign banks, and a Federal Reserve branch bank, Los Angeles is the leading financial center on the West Coast. Also in Los Angeles are a branch of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and the headquarters of several large insurance and petroleum companies.


Los Angeles is one of the nation's major transportation hubs. It is served by several trunk railways, hundreds of trucking lines, and numerous arterial roads, including five Interstate highways. Los Angeles has a subway line and a commuter railway that links the city with Long Beach. Los Angeles International Airport, which handles millions of passengers each year on domestic and foreign flights, is one of the largest and busiest airports in the nation. Greater Los Angeles is also served by an international airport at Ontario and by the Long Beach, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena, and Orange County airports, all of which have scheduled flights.

The Port of Los Angeles, on San Pedro Bay at the southern tip of the city, is one of the largest ports on the west coast in terms of tonnage handled. It lies adjacent to the port at Long Beach.

Other Industries

The tourist industry is an important part of the Los Angeles area's economy, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Conventions bring in additional revenue. Also significant is the fishing industry, centered in the port area at San Pedro. Much of the catch is tuna.