Study: Downey has nation's 14th most diverse economy

Photo by Allison Mansell,

Photo by Allison Mansell,

DOWNEY – The city of Downey is the 14th most diverse economy in the country, according to a recent study conducted by WalletHub. According to WalletHub’s website, researchers have found that cities with greater professional diversity show more productivity. Using data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, this particular study analyzed and ranked 350 of the largest cities in the U.S., focusing on three key metrics: industry, occupation, and worker-class diversity.

Downey was ranked 77th, 37th, and 110th in these categories respectively. Read the study here.

Some believe that the study’s results are not surprising when considering Downey’s nature. Gail Courtney, executive director of Downey Chamber of Commerce, said that she believed that Downey has a natural draw to it.

“[Downey] is not a large city; it’s a community” said Courtney. “It has a community feel where people feel safe, it’s a good place to raise families, and I think people from all walks of life are naturally drawn here. Everyone wants to provide for their family, have a great education for their children, and great healthcare.”

Downey business owner Greg Welch said that though he believes Downey is a diversely economic city, the city’s demographics depends on what that city has to offer in terms of work. Welch has run Risher Mortuary & Cremation Services alongside his wife, Barbara, since his father-in-law passed away in 2010.

“Obviously we don’t have agricultural, hunting, fishing, and those types of opportunities," said Welch. “Some cities are more industrial than others, some more technical than others. They draw in different aspects of the worker.”

The WalletHub report stated that Downey’s most prominent occupations were in sales and office, educational services, healthcare and social assistance, and private wage and salary workers.

Still, Welch agreed that economic demographics are natural.

“There’s migration in sociology. People move to different areas based on opportunity, based on socio-economic situation,” said Welch. He added that though he is not a sociologist, some of the reasons for this migration "are obvious, such as employment and economic status.”

David Llamas, owner of Mambo Grill on Downey Avenue, also said that he believed the findings were accurate. Llamas said that throughout his restaurant’s 13 year existence, his customer base has been very diverse.

“We have to please everyone here,” he said. “We’ve been pretty successful. We fail occasionally; we’re not perfect. But we’ve been pretty successful.”

Llamas said that he believed that Downey was on its way up, noting an unwavering attitude of perseverance. Llamas said that “quitters” was not in the nature of the people of Downey. He believes that Downey’s diversity and attitude act as an advantage towards the city’s success, though it was the task of Downey’s workers and business owners to work towards improvement.

“It’s only going to get better if we keep trying; if we don’t give up,” said Llamas. “As business owners it is our responsibility to be on the lookout for good people willing to work.”

To see the full report, visit wallethub.come/edu/ and click on the headline “2015’s Cities with the Most & Least Diversified Economies.”