© 2016, © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2016. This paper is an empirical analysis of employment centres in the Los Angeles region from 1997 to 2014. Most extant work on employment centres focuses on identification methodology or their dynamics during a period of industrial restructuring from 1980 to 2000. We analyse employment centres using point-based, rather than census tract-based employment data and a non-parametric identification method with a single concept of proximity. We focus on changes across five key industries: knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), retail, creative, industrial and high-tech, emphasising changes in centre composition as well as their boundaries. Results show far greater change across centres than previous longitudinal studies. Only 43% of the land area that is in an employment centre is part of one in both 1997 and 2014. Using a persistence score, centres range from stable to highly fluctuating, but emerging, persisting and dying centres are found in core and fringe areas alike. KIBS are most associated with stable centres, while high tech employment is attracted toward emerging areas and retail exists throughout. Emerging centres are more likely to have greater accessibility, while industrial employment becomes far more concentrated in centres by 2014.