5 Industries That Define the Los Angeles Economy

California has long been regarded as a state of innovation, creativity, and success. Perhaps the city that best encompasses this innovative spirit is Los Angeles. With an incredibly diverse population of over 4 million and all the glamor and prestige of Hollywood, Los Angeles is a central hub for the American entrepreneurial spirit.  Let’s take a look at the 5 industries that define the Los Angeles economy. 

Film & Entertainment 

Los Angeles has become synonymous with Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that film is one of the biggest Los Angeles industries. Ever since the 1908 film The Count of Monte Cristo changed the landscape of Hollywood, Los Angeles has been the center of the American film industry. 

The Golden Age of Hollywood saw domination from the five major motion picture studios: Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, RKO, and MGM. Nowadays, Hollywood makes its money not only from traditional film studios but from newer entertainment players like Netflix, Amazon, and tons of smaller independent names. 

Los Angeles is an epicenter for other entertainment industries outside of motion pictures such as television, video games, and digital media. Los Angeles’s place in the entertainment world also makes it a tourist attraction for people worldwide.  

Cosmetic Surgery & Cosmetic Dentistry

With so many famous and beautiful residents, it’s not surprising that one of the major industries in Los Angeles is cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dentistry. Indeed, Los Angeles has earned a reputation for being the unofficial plastic surgery capital of the world. In 2018, a study found that there were 7.6 plastic surgeons for every 100,000 residents in Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles is home to some of the world’s most famous and successful cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic dentists, like celebrity surgeon Dr. Peter Lee and famed cosmetic dentist Arthur Glosman. People from all over the country, as well as from outside the United States, travel to Los Angeles for cosmetic surgery and dentistry. 


While San Francisco might be slightly more notorious for its involvement in the information technology industry, Los Angeles is still a key player in American tech. A 2019 report listed Los Angeles as home to the third-largest group of tech workers on the West Coast. Some of the tech industry giants, such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix, are growing their presence in Los Angeles. 

Statistics only point to rapid growth in Los Angeles’s information technology industry. With much of this growth geared towards people with mid-level skills, we can be confident that tech is here to stay. 


Los Angeles is emerging as a frontrunner in the bioscience and biotechnology industries. It’s home to thousands upon thousands of brilliant, skilled workers and researchers. 

Los Angeles hosts many of the country’s top research universities and hospitals, including Caltech, the UCLA Medical Center, USC’s Keck School of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and many more. The researchers, students, professors, and doctors at these fine institutions are constantly working on fascinating and exciting new solutions in technology and health. 

Other biotechnology and bioscience companies that call Los Angeles home include Amgen, Kite Pharmaceuticals, and Quest Diagnostics. 

Aerospace & Defense 

Los Angeles is home to over 50,000 people working in private aerospace and defense industries, and over 20,000 more working for federal groups in these fields. Continuing the theme of groundbreaking innovation in California, there are plenty of opportunities for aeronautic talent, from Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Lab to Palmdale’s NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. 

You’ll find headquarters for all the country’s major aeronautics companies in Los Angeles, including Boeing, Lockheed, Virgin Galactic, and more. You’ll also find the Space and Missile Center at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, which develops billions of dollars of space and military technologies every year. 

Aerospace and defense is an exciting and innovative area in the Los Angeles economy. 

Find Your Industry Here in LA

It doesn’t matter if you come to L.A. as a software developer, chef, thespian, or construction professional. As one of the country’s largest, most diverse, and most industrious cities, Los Angeles has an exciting and constantly growing economy that truly offers something for everyone. 

And it doesn’t hurt that all of the best film premieres happen right here!