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April 21, 2017
“Unemployment rates are stabilizing across the region, as jobs are being filled more quickly and new businesses are coming online at the fastest rate we’ve seen in a year. Some of our biggest and best paying employers are those who are looking to hire right now.” - Phil Blair, President and CEO, Manpower
 
Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases unemployment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers March data, including unemployment data, new business establishments, job postings and who’s hiring in San Diego.
 
Highlights include:
  • With a total of 4,601 new establishments, March saw the largest number of new establishments in the past 12 months.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate of 4.2 continues to be lower than both the California rate of 5.1 percent and the national rate of 4.6 percent.
  • Compared to a year ago, total nonfarm employment is up 29,600, or 2.1 percent, with 22,900 of those jobs coming from the private sector.
 

 

April 19, 2017

The technology cluster along the San Diego region’s 78 Corridor spans 70 different industries and 200 unique occupations. Encompassing the North County cities Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, this well-established and diverse tech cluster is expected to grow by 5 percent over the next five years, according to a study released by Innovate78 today.

Study highlights include:

  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster has a $6.1 billion total economic impact annually, representing nearly 25,000 jobs.
  • North County’s technology cluster has a competitive advantage in precision manufacturing – specializing in the production of biomedical devices, telecommunications equipment and defense-related products.
  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster is 1.4 times more concentrated than the nation.
  • Biotech and biomed devices has been the fastest growing segment in the tech cluster, with a 9 percent increase in employment since 2011.


Read the executive summary and full study here.

March 24, 2017

"February’s data shows unemployment rates dropping for the majority of jurisdictions in the region. Meanwhile, job posting intensity has steadily declined suggesting that employers are filling jobs more rapidly. Management, training and communications are among the most in-demand skills in current job postings. And while technical skills are still expected of job-seekers, the ability to work with and develop others is key." - Phil Blair, President & CEO, Manpower

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases unemployment data for the prior month. Due to annual revisions, EDD did not release employment data in the month of February but released two reports in March. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers February data and references the second of two reports from March.
 
Highlights include:
  • Compared to a year ago, total nonfarm employment is up 26,700, or 1.9 percent, with 19,800 of those jobs coming from the private sector.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate remains lower than both the California rate of 5.2 percent and the national rate of 4.9 percent.
  • Fourteen of the region’s jurisdictions saw year-over-year growth in monthly new establishments, above the regional rate of 26 percent.
 
New Businesses by Jurisdiction, Feb 2017:

 
Read San Diego’s Economic Pulse here.
March 8, 2017

In conjunction with AECOM, EDC released an economic impact assessment of FS Investors’ proposed SoccerCity development. The analysis estimates the potential economic and fiscal impacts of the large mixed-use development, which is planned to include a 30,000 seat Major League Soccer stadium, approximately 4,800 residential units, more than 2 million sq. ft. of office, 740,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and 55 acres of open space and park land. This development would be located at the current Qualcomm stadium site in San Diego’s Mission Valley.

Economic impacts of development proposal have been estimated for both the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego. This includes impacts from construction and impacts from operations at a future year at full buildout and stable occupancy. Additionally, annual fiscal impacts to the general fund have been estimated for the City of San Diego from operations of the proposed development at a future year at full buildout and stable occupancy. 

Construction Economic Impacts to the County of San Diego

Annual Operations Economic Impacts for the County of San Diego

The above information does not imply EDC’s endorsement of the SoccerCity SD proposal and should not be taken as such. 
March 3, 2017

Understanding our economy begins with strong data. Lucky for us, Feb/March means lots of it. 

A little about the research products released this week:

  • Quarterly Economic Snapshot: February
    Every quarter, San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the region's standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. The Economic Snapshot covers data from October to December 2016 (Q4), the most recent quarter available, in regard to employment, real estate and venture capital.

    Release time: Data from the previous quarter is available at the end of the second month of the current quarter (e.g. data from Q4 2016 is released late Feb. 2017; data from Q12017 will be released late May 2017)

 

  • San Diego's Economic Pulse: March
    Monthly, the California Employment Development Department releases countywide employment and unemployment data. However, we know unemployment is only a small sliver of understanding our economy. EDC supplements this report by adding information on who's hiring, business establisments and job postings.

    Release time: The California Employment Development Department typically releases the previous months data on the third Friday of every month (e.g. Data from April 2017 will be release on May 19, 2017). However, the first few months of the year are on a revised schedule, as January is subjected to seasonal changes as some service sectors wind down from the holidays and other data is being adjusted from the previous year. Therefore, January's data was released on March 3, 2017. 

 

February 28, 2017

Every quarter, San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the region's standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. 
 
The Economic Snapshot covers data from October to December 2016 (Q4), the most recent quarter available, in regard to employment, real estate and venture capital. 
 
Highlights include:
  • The San Diego region had the 14th lowest unemployment rate amongst the top 25 metros. This ranking is down four spots from Q2 2016.
  • The region’s unemployment rate of 4.2 percent continues to be lower than the national and state rates of 4.5 and 5.0 percent, respectively.
  • The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points between Q3 and Q4 2016, the 9th largest decrease among major metros.
  • Year-over-year, the region has added 28,900 jobs - a 2.0 percent increase.
  • With the exception of manufacturing, all of the region’s sectors experienced year-over-year growth. Leading the way was real estate and rental leasing which increased by 6.1 percent or 1,700 jobs.
  • The largest venture capital investments were in disease diagnosis, internet software and services and biotechnology companies. The top two deals accounted for 44.1 percent of the region’s total investment for the quarter, or $79 million.

Check out the full Quarterly Economic Snapshot here.

Brought to you by:

 
February 22, 2017
The largest city in the state of Baja California, Tijuana sits at one of busiest land border crossings in the world. Together with San Diego, Tijuana is part of a dynamic cross-border metropolis where deep economic and cultural linkages result in the creation of value, jobs and exports. The unique dynamics of this mega-region provide local companies with an important comparative advantage in the global economy. Since April 2016, EDC has participated in a greater initiative to streamline cross-border economic development efforts by refining our approach to servicing corporate retention, expansion and attraction interests. This “bilateral cities exchange” called for a deeper understanding of Tijuana’s economy as a critical component of economic growth throughout the region. 
 
As such, EDC partnered with UC San Diego’s Center for US-Mexican Studies to create an economic overview of Tijuana – a seven-page document that provides a data-driven summary of Tijuana’s economic drivers, talent, quality of life, global connectivity and cost. This resource will help inform clients and partners of Tijuana’s diversifying economy while touching on the unique benefits of doing business in our binational mega-region.
 
Highlights include:
  • Economy: Tijuana is a medical device manufacturing powerhouse; 97 companies employ 21,000 workers who produced $600M worth of product in 2014. 
  • In 2015, Tijuana graduated more than 8,000 university-level students – 29 percent of which received STEM degrees.
  • Tijuana ranked #8 on the New York Times' 2017 list of must-visit destinations around the world.
  • Between 2012 and 2016, FDI in Baja totaled $5.6 billion – 63 percent of which came from the U.S. Other sources of FDI include South Korea, the Netherlands, Japan and Spain.
  • When compared to China, Mexico is estimated to have 13 percent lower labor costs and an overall average direct manufacturing cost that is four percentage points cheaper than China. 
 
Read the Tijuana Regional Profile here.
January 30, 2017

By Nikia Clarke, executive director of WTC San Diego and Peter Cowhey, interim executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UC San Diego
 
During his first week in office President Trump made many bold moves, including an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a call to renegotiate NAFTA, and a threat to impose a 20 percent border tax on Mexican imports to the United States following a very public spat with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. 
 
Trade matters for economies, big and small. For a border city on the edge of the Pacific, decisions on trade policy in Washington have outsized impacts on jobs, growth and opportunities for San Diegans. 
 
Take TPP — an international trade deal originally negotiated between the U.S. and 11 other countries, covering 40 percent of global GDP
 
Right now, the status quo makes it more expensive for U.S. companies to export to other countries than it is for foreign companies to sell goods and services here. TPP sought to level the playing field, especially for the small and midsize companies that make up more than 95 percent of San Diego’s business ecosystem. 
 
It also was the first trade deal to write the rule book for the economy of the future. It protected the intellectual property of American innovators, which matters when you live in the third most patent-intensive region in the world.
 
Scientific research and development, the heartbeat of our world-renowned life sciences ecosystem and an industry dependent on patents, is five times more concentrated here than in the U.S. as a whole. 
 
TPP eased restrictions on the movement of data and services across borders, which is important when you have a globally competitive cybersecurity cluster and revolutionary big data and genomics industries.
 
In San Diego, innovation is our livelihood, and TPP would have been a game changer for all those San Diego companies that export their knowledge across the globe. Killing TPP effectively cedes leadership on trade rules and norms to China, an outcome that is unlikely to be advantageous for U.S. companies and consumers.
 
And don’t forget that 97 percent of our goods exports — primarily high-value manufactured goods worth over $22 billion — are already sold in TPP markets, employing over 120,000 San Diegans. Most of those goods are exported to Mexico, sometimes crossing the border several times before they are fully assembled. This means that 40 percent of the content of imports from Mexico — the ones subject to a potential 20 percent tax — is American-made.
 
As we pivot from what could have been with TPP and look to NAFTA renegotiation, to building a wall, to a looming trade conflict with China, we should remember that trade has always been an American reality. 
 
Here in San Diego, we marvel at the transformation over the past 50 years from a sleepy Navy town to a global city that develops life-changing technologies. We didn’t get here by building walls, and we won’t get ahead that way either. 
 
 
This op-ed originally ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Trump's trade moves impact San Diego economy"

For more more on TPP and San Diego, see WTCSD's economic impact report.

January 20, 2017

Understanding our economy begins with strong data – it’s a phrase people hear us say a lot at San Diego Regional EDC, and for good reason. 
 
Unemployment data, while important, only gives us a piece of the puzzle and many people are still curious as to how it all relates to them...as a business…as a job seeker…and as a San Diego resident.
 
As we kick off 2017, we want to provide comprehensive research that tells a story about our economy. San Diego's Economic Pulse, our new research product launching today, is our way of doing that. In addition to  tracking unemployment, we will also be keeping tabs on new business establishments, job postings and looking at who’s hiring in San Diego.
 
This research wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of EDC board officer Phil Blair and Manpower San Diego.
 
Throughout the year, you will continue to see changes in the way we present our research and talk about data. We would love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation at @SDregionalEDC or send an email to research@sandiegobusiness.org.
 
January 6, 2017

Now that the holidays are behind us, let’s take a look at some of the data. Early indicators point to another strong holiday shopping season in 2016, beating already lofty forecasts for retail sales1. San Diego’s employment grew by 12,100 in November, as retailers staffed up to meet the surge of shoppers2. But a lot of that hiring is seasonal, and these seasonal boosts are trending down. In fact, growth in retail trade employment has slowed dramatically over the past two years to a mere 0.1 percent.

 

Local employment in retail trade remains 2.8 percent below the pre-recession peak; 11 percent of regional unemployment comes from the industry3. This is because shoppers are increasingly turning to online retailers rather than brick and mortar stores – a trend that has continued to grow since the advent of e-commerce giants like Amazon.com (see chart below).

Traditional retailers are struggling to compete. Last week both Macy’s and Sears announced hundreds of store closures, which will bring thousands of layoffs across the U.S. In San Diego, Macy’s apparel store in Mission Valley will be shutting its doors, leaving 140 people without jobs4.

Changes in technology have had a profound impact on the economy and the composition of jobs. And while the tech boom has brought about gains in productivity, e-commerce and automation are displacing retail workers. These are jobs that are mostly held by women, and where more than half are held by people under the age of 355.

EDC will keep a close eye as these trends develop. Look out for our next monthly employment report on January 20.
 

Sources:

1.      National Retail Federation: https://nrf.com/news/retail-sales-see-solid-gains-first-half-of-holiday-season

2.      San Diego December 2016 LMI Release: http://www.labormarketinfo.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/sand$pds.pdf

3.      EMSI; CA LMI; BLS; Infogroup

4.      Macy’s Press Release: http://www.wsj.com/articles/PR-CO-20170104-910412

5.      EMSI; CA LMI; BLS; Infogroup