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Research Blog

March 10, 2015

 

"The numbers show that San Diego's economy is off to a great start in 2015. We're continuing to see the same accelerated year-over-year job growth that we saw at the end of 2014. Seasonal rise in unemployment might skew this result, but by nearly all measures, we're in a better place than we were last year."
Phil Blair, President and CEO
Manpower San Diego


[Highlights]

NOTE: Due to the delayed release of  data by EDD, this post will be updated with charts once the full data set is released.

This post is part of an ongoing monthly series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release and is brought to you by Manpower. Click images to enlarge in a new tab/window.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the January 2015 period. The release reported that the San Diego County unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent and jobs declined by 20,100 from December 2014. January jobs figures are generally prone to seasonal effects, as retail jobs descend back to normal after the holiday season.

San Diego County’s unemployment rate rose by 0.3 points to 5.8 percent from the revised December figure of 5.5 percent. However, the unemployment rate remained 1.4 points lower than it was a year prior. The unemployment rate in the region was 1.5 points below California’s 7.3 percent rate and 0.3 points below the U.S. average of 6.1 percent. The unemployment rate rose, but not as much as California or the U.S. average. As noted, the rise is seasonal, since year-over-year data shows the region is in a far better place than January of the previous year.

San Diego County lost 20,100 jobs from December to January, but added a total of 40,400 jobs since January 2014. This equals a job growth rate of 3.1 percent over the year, which eclipsed the U.S. total employment growth rate over the same period. Year-over-year data is a better indicator of economic growth since it controls for seasonal changes. Therefore, despite a seemingly alarming monthly decline, the region's economy is steadily growing.

Year-over-year job growth continued to be fueled by the private sector. San Diego County private businesses added 36,700 jobs since January 2014, a 3.4 percent growth rate. Private sector jobs accounted for 90.8 percent of year-over-year growth.

While most service-providing industries took a typical seasonal hit, goods-producing industries added 1,400 jobs from December to January. More importantly, goods-producers added 5,200 jobs from the prior year, a 3.3 percent growth rate. Construction added 2,200 job since the previous month and 4,200 jobs since the previous year, in large part due to the construction of new buildings. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 1,000 jobs since the previous year, 900 of which came from the region's critical ship and boat building sector.

Innovation sectors continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015, adding 8,300 jobs. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, which represents many cleantech and life science companies, added 2,400 jobs since last January--7.8 percent job growth.

[Growth Chart]

Despite the potential headlines that will surround the rising unemployment rate and declining employment, the region is continuing to experience above average year-over-year growth. The region outperformed the state and nation in employment growth, and experienced a smaller seasonal unemployment decline. Employment continued to grow above three percent annually, a great sign as we move into the new year.

Note: Our Economic Indicators Dashboard along with a brief blog post will show how our unemployment rate compares to other US metros and the US total rate when that information is released in the coming weeks..

February 18, 2015

Recently, EDC released its December Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released December employment data on all U.S. metros, which allows us to analyze some key indicators across geographies. Click on images to enlarge in a new window/tab.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • At 5.2 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 12th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From December 2013 to December 2014, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.3 percentage points, which ranked 9th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by more than 3.3 percent from December 2013 to December 2014, which ranked 3rd.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 9.0 percent, the highest growth rate among major U.S. metros.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 4.1 percent from the previous year, the 3rd highest growth rate.

[Employment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the December 2014 period for all U.S. metro areas. When looking at employment growth, San Diego was among the best in the nation. From December 2013 to December 2014, the region's employment grew by more than 3.3 percent, which ranked 3rd among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 2.3 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. employment growth this year and has been one of the most competitive metros in the nation.

[Unemployment Chart]

At 5.2 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.3 points from this time last year. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points in one month, the 2nd largest drop during that period. That fall brought San Diego's rank to 9th among major U.S. metros and placed it below the U.S. overall rate of 5.4 percent.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's innovation economy is largely driving the region's growth. The region is outpacing all other major metros in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) growth. PST is a sector of the economy very heavily associated with the region's innovation clusters. Much of the companies and employment in clusters like biotechnology, biomedical products, cleantech and information technology fall within the PST sector. Employment in the region's PST sector grew by 9.0 percent since last December, the most out of any metro studied here. This figure was more than double the U.S. average and more than a full point more than 2nd placed Houston, which is a positive sign for the region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

We continued to see more  impressive growth in San Diego's manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is another key industry for growth in the region, not only because manufacturing jobs are accessible and pay well, but also because certain manufacturing subsectors are critical to the region's innovation clusters. From December 2013 to December 2014, manufacturing employment grew by 4.1 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment grew at more than twice the rate of the U.S. (1.8 percent), and recorded the 3rd highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. 

We now have data for the full 2014 calendar year, which allows us to analyze non-seasonal annual average growth from calendar year to year. We covered how positive the local numbers were in detail in our most recent Manpower Monthly Employment Report, but it is important to understand San Diego's growth relative to its peers. San Diego's annual average employment growth from 2013 to 2014 ranked 9th, and rather substantially outpaced the U.S. average. Perhaps more importantly, key innovation sectors far outpaced peers and picked up even more in the latter months of the calendar year. PST services had the 2nd highest annual average growth from 2013 to 2014 at 5.7 percent, while manufacturing had the 8th highest annual average growth rate. Both key sectors far outpaced the national average. San Diego appears to be on solid economic footing heading into 2015.

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with January 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, March 6thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research. Edit: Date was previously listed incorrectly as February 20th, 2015.

January 23, 2015

Download a printable version

"San Diego’s economic potential was really on display in 2014. We saw our traded sectors really drive huge employment gains throughout the year, providing many good-paying jobs to the previously unemployed."
Phil Blair, President and CEO
Manpower San Diego


[Highlights]

This post is part of an ongoing monthly series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release and is brought to you by Manpower. Click images to enlarge in a new tab/window.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the December 2014 period. As expected, San Diego County rounded out the year with more outstanding job growth. Note that December data allows us to look at annual averages, which is simply the average of all twelve months of data in a calendar year. This allows us to make statements about total job growth from one calendar year to another, without specifying a certain month. This report will look mostly at changes from December 2013 to December 2014, as it does every month, but will also discuss annual averages where relevant.

Unemployment rate will likely dominate much of the story this month, since the region experienced such a dramatic decline and finally fell back below the U.S. average. San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in December, 0.6 points lower than November. The unemployment rate in the region was 1.5 points below California’s 6.7 percent rate and now 0.2 points below the U.S. average of 5.4 percent.

[Total Chart]

While a declining unemployment rate is certainly a positive sign, the rate fell in large part because of an above average drop in the labor force. Declines in the labor force are often explained by temporary seasonal workers, retirees and students exiting the labor force. However, 16,100 less in the labor force is above average even for the November-December. This could in part be explained by the sectors where the region experienced seasonal job loss, like tourism-related sectors, construction and public education. It could also be due to a correction, since the labor force grew faster than usual in October and November. Regardless, the number is high but not too negative, since there are still 28,100 more participants than December 2013 and 19,400 less unemployed—all amid high job growth.

San Diego County employers added only 600 jobs from November to December, but a total of 44,500 jobs since December 2013. This equals a job growth rate of 3.3 percent, which eclipsed the U.S. total employment growth rate over the same period.

[Unemployment Chart]

As noted in previous releases, most economists projected the region’s annual average employment to grow by roughly 2.0 to 2.5 percent from 2013 to 2014, or approximately 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. Average annual 2014 figures exceeded those estimates and grew by 2.6 percent or 34,025 jobs, with accelerated growth coming in the later months of the year—a good sign as we head into 2015.

Job growth in December continued to be fueled by our private sector. San Diego County private businesses added 1,200 jobs in December and 42,000 since December 2013. When looking at annual averages, we see that the private sector added 31,867 jobs from 2013 to 2014, a 2.9 percent growth rate. Private sector jobs accounted for 93.7 percent of average annual growth from 2013 to 2014.

[PST Chart]

Construction and manufacturing industries experienced outstanding job growth in 2014. From December 2013 to December 2014, the construction industry added 2,400 jobs—a 3.7 percent growth rate. Over that same period, manufacturers added 3,900 jobs and grew by 4.1 percent. When looking at annual averages, construction was the highest growth industry and grew by 8.6 percent from 2013 to 2014. Growth in the industry slowed later in the year, but remained well-above overall employment growth.

Innovation sectors continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 9.0 percent from December 2013 to December 2014. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, which represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 5.2 percent since last December. Both were among the highest growing industries in annual average figures as well.

[Growth Chart]

With December data in, we now know that 2014 was truly an outstanding year for job growth in the region. San Diego’s key traded industries led the way and the region outpaced what many anticipated at the outset of the year. When looking ahead to 2015, we see many positive signs. Year-over-year employment growth increased as the year progressed, with figures exceeding the annual average in the later months. This trend held among our key traded sectors as well, particularly in PST services and manufacturing—sectors that generally pay above average wages. We foresee many of the same possible obstacles in 2015, such as looming federal budget sequestration and rising interest rates. Regardless, San Diego enters the year on solid footing.

Note: Our Economic Indicators Dashboard will show how our unemployment rate compares to other US metros and the US total rate when that information is released in the coming weeks.

January 2, 2015

Recently, EDC released its Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released November employment data on all U.S. metros, which allows us to analyze some key indicators across geographies. Click on images to enlarge in a new window/tab.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • At 5.8 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 16th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From November 2013 to November 2014, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.2 percentage points, which ranked 8th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by more than 3.2 percent from November 2013 to November 2014, which ranked 6th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 6.7 percent, the 4th highest growth rate.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew more than 3.7 percent from the previous year, the 3rd highest growth rate.

[Employment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the November 2014 period for all U.S. metro areas. When looking at employment growth, San Diego was one of the best in the nation. From November 2013 to November 2014, the region's employment grew by more than 3.2 percent, which ranked 6th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate remained at only 2 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. employment growth this year.

[Unemployment Chart]

At 5.8 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate remained the same as it was in October, but fell by 1.2 points from this time last year. San Diego's rate ranked 16th among major U.S. metros and remained above the U.S. overall rate of 5.5 percent. However, San Diego's rate fell faster than most metros. San Diego's percentage point change from November 2013 to November 2014 ranked 8th among major U.S. metros. While the unemployment rate in San Diego was higher than some of the region's key peer metros, it still fared better than other California metros like Los Angeles and Riverside, and fell roughly in the middle of the 25 most populous U.S. metros.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's overall growth is very positive, and we continued to see even more explosive growth in one of the region's most important sectors. Professional, scientific and technical services (PST) is a sector of the economy very heavily associated with the region's innovation clusters. Much of the companies and employment in clusters like biotechnology, biomedical products, cleantech and information technology fall within the PST sector. While we saw high growth in in the October report (5.0 percent), employment in the region's PST sector grew by 6.7 percent since last November. San Diego ranked 4th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros in this measure, and far outpaced U.S. average growth, which is a positive sign for the region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

We continued to see even more  impressive growth in San Diego's manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is another key industry for growth in the region, not only because manufacturing jobs are accessible and pay well, but also because certain manufacturing subsectors are critical to the region's innovation clusters. From November 2013 to November 2014, manufacturing employment grew by 3.7 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment grew at more than twice the rate of the U.S. (1.5 percent), and recorded the 3rd highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. 

Last month, we speculated that November would be a good month for San Diego given that the BLS had already reported such strong national figures. We covered how good the local numbers were in detail in our most recent Manpower Monthly Employment Report, but it is important to understand San Diego's growth relative to its peers. San Diego continues to fare better than most in employment growth, particularly in key innovation sectors. In two weeks, we will know San Diego's December figures and wrap up 2014. Barring a very unexpected poor report, San Diego will likely finish the year much better than even the most optimistic expectations, and likely better than the majority of peer metros.

Thank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.