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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Research Q1 2019

April 9, 2019

In February 2019, EDC supported The San Diego Foundation’s annual convening to recognize the accomplishments of its 2018 Science and Technology program grantees. The San Diego Foundation supports efforts that encourage more students to pursue STEM careers and academic research, with the goal of strengthening our regional economy. Grantees have a demonstrated track record of engaging students in STEM fields, particularly among underrepresented populations. Eduardo Velasquez, research manager at EDC, participated in a panel alongside City of San Diego’s Deputy Operating Officer Erik Caldwell and Qualcomm’s Inclusion and Diversity Manager Carrie Sawyer for a discussion on the importance of building a strong local talent pipeline. 

The San Diego region is recognized as a tech hub, with some of the most innovative companies and world-class research universities. Yet, not all students have the opportunity to explore and pursue STEM-related fields that lead to high-paying jobs in the innovation economy. San Diego’s Hispanic population is statistically the least prepared to enter or complete a degree or credential, yet represents nearly half of the future local talent pool.

This demographic gap in educational attainment, combined with rapidly changing skill requirements and a nationwide battle for talent, is likely to lead to an increased shortage of skilled workers in our region. As a member of EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, The San Diego Foundation’s convening directly supports the regional goal of producing 20,000 new skilled workers per year by 2030.

Learn more at talent.inclusivesd.org

March 27, 2019

Every quarter San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q4 2018.

Recovering from a decrease in employment during Q3, San Diego, and 24 of the most populous metros, experienced an increase in total nonfarm employment during Q4. Ramping up for the holiday season, the region added 21,500 jobs – a 1.4 percent increase in employment during the quarter. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment was up 25,400 jobs, or 1.7 percent. 

Meanwhile, San Diego’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in Q4, unchanged from Q3.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego closed Q4 with an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent and the sixth lowest among the 25 most populous metros.

  • With the holiday season in full bloom, the retail sector continued to grow, adding 8,500 jobs in Q4. Other strong contributors to the quarterly employment growth were education and health services, and transportation and utilities, together adding 4,100 jobs.  

  • Year-over-year, the region’s median home price continued to climb, growing by 2.6 percent.

  • VC dollars in the region increased 21.4 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Quarterly Economic Snapshot analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This releases includes data from October to December (Q4) 2018.

San Diego's Quarterly Economic Snapshot - March 2019 from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

March 22, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers February 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

Thank you to Manpower San Diego for making this possible.

Highlights include:

·         The region’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, down from a revised 3.8 percent in January, and unchanged from the year-ago estimate of 3.5 percent.

·         San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.4 percent and the national rate of 4.1 percent.

·         The labor force grew by 3,700 workers during the month and is now up 24,600 compared to a year ago.

·         Total nonfarm employment is up 9,700 in February and up 19,900 over the year.

·         The largest employment gain over the year occurred in educational and healthcare services, which added 6,900 jobs. 

March 14, 2019

In a world where Internet-enabled devices have become embedded in everyday objects, the need for cybersecurity has never been more vital. San Diego's roots in wireless technology, combined with its top tier engineering talent and military presence, make it a fertile ground for cybersecurity talent. And that's exactly what EDC's most recent economic impact study found.

cybersecurity economic impact numbers in SD

Commissioned by San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the region’s cyber economy, the study found that San Diego had more than 150 core cyber firms that employ 4,920 people in the region. The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)* provides an additional3,530 jobs to San Diego’s cybersecurity industry. In total, there are 8,450 direct jobs – up 11 percent from 2016 (faster than the regional employment growth of 3 percent). 

"Too often San Diego worries about falling behind Silicon Valley or the East Coast, but this study conveys we have the talent and workforce to punch above our weight," said Rear Admiral (Ret), Ken Slaght, CCOE chair and president of Cyber Center of Excellence. "San Diego's premier educational institutions, existing industry base and robust federal assets, seed not only the cyber workforce but the innovation needed to protect our nation."

The study was launched at Qualcomm on March 13, and featured a keynote from Dr. John Zangardi, CIO at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as an in-depth look at the interactive research tool, presented by EDC's Research Director Kirby Brady.

View the interactive tool here.

*In June 2019, SPAWAR changed its name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR).

January 22, 2019

Small businesses are the backbone of the San Diego economy, representing 98 percent of local businesses and employing roughly 59 percent of the workforce. According to a new study by San Diego Regional EDC, in partnership with the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center, small businesses are one of the primary drivers of local economic growth, with 41 percent of the region’s small businesses intending to hire more employees in the next two years.

Based on a survey of more than 500 respondents, “An In-Depth Look at San Diego's Small Business Ecosystem” uncovers insight about the region’s small businesses – those with fewer than 100 employees – and quantifies the number of firms, workforce, demographic and industry breakdown, business outlook and more across San Diego and Imperial counties.

The study found 36 percent of small businesses are women-owned, 20 percent are minority-owned, and 10 percent are veteran-owned.

 “This study helps reinforce what we already know: San Diego’s small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, employing nearly 700,000 San Diegans and driving innovation across the world,” said Kirby Brady, Research Director, San Diego Regional EDC.

Encompassing industries from healthcare, finance, food and beverage, education, construction and real estate, San Diego’s small businesses are driving the local economy – representing two-thirds of current regional employment.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Small businesses employ 697,000 workers, making up 59 percent of San Diego’s total workforce. 
  • 27 percent of the region’s workers are in businesses with fewer than 20 employees; while more than 64 percent of firms employ fewer than five people.
  • 69 percent of small businesses reported financial growth in the past two years.
  • 59 percent of the region’s small businesses have local customers.
  • Of firms surveyed, roughly 43 percent expect to grow in terms of workforce and 81 percent expect to grow in terms of financial performance.
  • The majority of companies who have been operating less than two years generate less than $100K in annual revenue, while more than half of established companies (10 years or longer) generate more than $1M in revenue annually.
  • Small business growth challenges:
    • Eighty-five percent of locally-serving small business said ‘sales and new business’ is a challenge, including 25 percent who said it is the most significant challenge.
    • Fourteen percent of small businesses said that ‘financial stability and cash flow’ is the most significant challenge.

“In order to better serve the needs of our small businesses and entrepreneurs, it’s important that we understand their perceptions and experiences," said Danny Fitzgerald, Associate Regional Director of San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network. “This study will enable us to create new and enhance existing programming to support small business growth across the region.”

Furthermore, with a commitment to lifting up San Diego small businesses, EDC has launched an Inclusive Growth initiative in order to develop measurable targets and actionable recommendations to promote small business growth, talent development and affordability.

The SBDC has become our trusted 'go to' resource for just about everything. They have connected us to the vast networks in San Diego that has brought us new customers and important industry connections. We wouldn't be where we are today without them,” said Nic Halverson, Founder/CEO of Waitz App.

The report was produced by San Diego Regional EDC, with support from the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center. Read the full study here.

For more research from San Diego Regional EDC, visit sandiegobusiness.org/research-center.