Economic Prosperity - Employment and Wages
photo: The San Diego Foundation
How are we doing?
The number of persons employed in San Diego began to increase in 2011, for the first time since 2008 with an increase of about 15,000 jobs. However, the growth rate of the working age population increased more than the growth rate of employment, indicating a still sluggish economy. The San Diego region did not see as much of an increase in employment as the Bay Area or Silicon Valley in 2011, but fared better than Los Angeles and the California average. Year over year job growth numbers in San Diego County show improvement, with unemployment hovering around 8.5 percent in the 3rd Quarter of 2012, which is below the California average but above the national average.
Why is it important?
- A sustainable economy includes a diverse mix of industries and offers a variety of jobs to community members of varying skills and backgrounds.
- Employment is a key determinant of San Diego’s economic prosperity. An adequate supply of jobs that support the housing, transportation, health, and recreational needs of local residents is vital to a healthy and sustainable quality of life.
What is the measure?
The number of persons employed annually in San Diego County compared to the working age population.
Ideas for Change
- Support a regional ‘buy local’ campaign that results in more dollars circulating through the local economy, and creates job growth.
- Form and maintain partnerships with businesses (across multiple sectors), trade associations, universities/research institutions, and community-based organizations, in order to effectively utilize local resources and sources of financing.
- Support initiatives to attract and retain a strong talent pool, particularly for high growth, high wage industries such as communications, biotech, and health care.
- Promote policy initiatives and strategic plans that streamline regulations and permit processes in order to attract new businesses and create new jobs.
- Support efforts, such as CONNECT’s ‘Nearsourcing Initiative,’ which take advantage of local talent and support local job growth while cutting down on the monetary and environmental costs of shipping and transportation.
- Take advantage of San Diego’s proximity to Mexico by promoting activity within the Foreign Trade Zone.
CONNECT’s Nearsourcing Initiative was launched in 2012 to match San Diego companies in need of outsourcing with local manufacturers and production resources. The initiative encourages local innovation companies to “look near first” and ultimately keeps economic growth and job creation in our region.
On September 4, 2012 the San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone, formerly consisting only of business communities located south of the 8 Freeway, was expanded to include communities north of the 8 Freeway. The Enterprise Zone offers state income tax credits and other incentives to business owners, helping to draw national businesses to San Diego, and also allowing local businesses to expand and invest in job creation.