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Economic Development 101

August 3, 2015

Recently, EDC released its June Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released June 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 5.0 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 10th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From June 2014 to June 2015, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.4 percentage points, which ranked 3rd.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by 2.8 percent from June 2014 to June 2015, which ranked 10th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 6.1 percentwhich ranked 3rd.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 2.8 percent from the previous year, the 6th highest growth rate.

[Unmployment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the June 2015 period for all U.S. metro areas. At 5.0 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.4 points from this time last year. This was the 3rd largest drop in the nation, among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. That fall put San Diego's rank at 10th among major U.S. metros and it remained below the U.S. overall rate of 5.5 percent.  

[Employment Chart]

When looking at employment growth, San Diego remained well above the national average. From June 2014 to June 2015, the region's employment grew by 2.8 percent, which ranked 10th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 2.1 percent. Growth has slowed substantially across the U.S. in the past few months, but has since picked up the pace. San Diego has consistently outpaced the national employment growth this year and has been among the top 10 competitive metros in the nation.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's innovation economy is largely driving the region's growth. The region is outpacing nearly 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 6.1 percent since last June, the 3rd most out of any metro studied here. This figure was nearly double the U.S. average and only behind California peers San Francisco and Riverside, which is a positive sign for the state and region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

San Diego's manufacturing sector growth picked up substantially in June. 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 June 2014 to June 2015, manufacturing employment grew by 2.8 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment growth was more than double the U.S. rate of 1.3 percent. The region recorded the 6th highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. This marks the first month on record that manufacturing employment grew at or even near the pace of the overall regional economy. San Francisco and Riverside also experienced outstanding growth in their manufacturing sectors, which is a good sign for the state's manufacturing economy.

San Diego's economy continues to track well above the U.S. average and many of its peers. Unemployment is lower than average and the region experienced one of the largest annual drops in the nation. Meanwhile, San Diego's PST industry continues to be among the fastest growing in the nation. It will be interesting to see if the region can continue to experience such stellar manufacturing growth as the industry continues to rebound. 

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with July 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, August 21stThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.

July 17, 2015

Download a printable version

“The region’s labor force continues to grow substantially as jobs are being added at a very solid pace. Despite a slight climb in the unemployment rate, all signs point to a positive economic picture for the region going forward.”
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 June 2015 period. This month’s data shows that while unemployment climbed slightly in June, the labor force grew and the economy continued growth at a steady rate.

The unemployment rate climbed back to five percent for the first time since March. At 5.0 percent, the rate is 1.4 points lower than the previous year and 0.1 points higher than the previous month. The California average rate remained steady at 6.2 percent, while the U.S. average rate climbed to 5.5 percent, meaning San Diego remained much lower than the state and national averages.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate climbed in part due to a rising labor force. This trend is typical in the region, as both public and private seasonal education workers tend to lose work in the summer months. Education accounted for 3,000 lost jobs from May to June, but the sector has grown nearly three percent since June of last year. While a seasonal up-tick in unemployment is common during this period, the 0.1 point change was a much lower change than in previous years. The unemployment rate climbed 0.3 points in 2014 and 0.5 points in 2013 during this same period.

From a year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, the region’s economy continued to grow around 3.0 percent, adding 38,500 jobs from June 2014 to June 2015. The year-to-year growth rate has been consistently above the 2014 annual average of 2.2 percent. So far in 2015, that annual average is at 3.0 percent through June, compared to the U.S. average of only 2.2 percent.

Total Nonfarm Employment

The private sector economy again accounted for more than 90 percent of the year-to-year job growth and grew by 3.2 percent. This rate also outpaced the U.S. growth rate, which was 2.6 percent over that same period. This job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors. Construction grew by 5.7 percent and added 3,600 jobs. One of the region’s key manufacturing sectors, ship and boat building, grew by 18.0 percent and added 1,100 jobs.

We’ve continued to discuss the stagnant growth in overall manufacturing employment in these reports, but June showed promise for the region’s manufacturing industry. From June 2014 to June 2015, the industry added 2,700 jobs or 2.8 percent growth. This is the highest annual growth rate for the industry that we have on record, going back to 2001.

Manufacturing

Innovation service sectors have continued to show high job growth through 2015. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.0 percent year-to-year, and accounted for 22.1 percent of all annual private job growth—the most of any sector in the region. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. Scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, showed slower growth this month compared to previous months this year.

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s health care sector, which added 6,900 jobs and accounted for approximately one-fifth of the region’s private job growth. Employment services or staffing in the region grew by 1,300 jobs and has been steadily increasing all year. Finally, while the tourism industry had a slower month than usual, it still accounted for 14.7 percent of the region’s private growth.

Year-to-Year Growth

While the headlines this month will show a climb in the unemployment rate, the story behind that figure is a positive one. A climb in unemployment from May to June is typical, but the fact that the climb was so slight was atypical and a good sign. The labor force continued to grow above one percent annually after years of steady decline. Finally, manufacturing industry employment is showing solid growth after years of slow growth or decline.

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.

 

July 15, 2015

This is part of an ongoing series which will feature one company every week that received the MetroConnect Prize, presented by JPMorgan Chase

MetroConnect

In 2014, EDC released its Cybersecurity in San Diego: An Economic Impact and Industry Assessment report. According to data from 2014, more than 100 cyber firms employed at least 3,500 private sector employees and supported more than 13,000 jobs in the region. The cybersecurity industry had an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion.

Additionally, in 2014, the industry was projected to grow by more than 14 percent in San Diego, and globally, by more than 10 percent.

With impressive numbers like that, it is easy to see why San Diego has become a hotbed for cyber companies looking to take advantage of this market - especially for a company like EdgeWave, a company that began as a San Diego startup and now employs more than 65 people. 

“EdgeWave’s unique combination of expert U.S. military cybersecurity veterans with advanced technology mirrors the San Diego community, and illustrates why San Diego is the right city to lead the way in securing the global economy,” said Dave Maquera, EdgeWave president and CEO. 

On July 1st, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Regional EDC, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and business and civic leaders, unveiled 15 companies, including EdgeWave, who were selected to receive the MetroConnect Prize. Managed by EDC, and presented by JPMorgan Chase, the MetroConnect Prize grants these San Diego companies $10,000 each in order to assist with developing international business opportunities.

EdgeWave secures over 6,000 companies worldwide by providing internet security, email security, next generation firewall, and network security solutions.

EdgeWave was awarded the prize based on its current relationships and its planned usage of the funds. With about 10 percent of its revenue coming from foreign sources, EdgeWave intends to target the Philippines and China as part of its international growth strategy.

“Cyber attacks threaten the growth of the global economy and we are all affected by the damage done by hackers,” said Maquera, “EdgeWave is confronting this cyber threat with a global focus.  We are successfully expanding into Asia with new large enterprise customer wins and have partnered with Huawei Technologies, a worldwide information & communications technology leader, to expand into other markets around the globe.”

Global engagement is essential if San Diego wants to catalyze its economy and workforce. The benefits of companies going global and engaging foreign markets are well-documented. According to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay their employees higher wages, are less likely to go out of business, and spur more efficient development of technology and R&D.


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June 19, 2015

Manpower_Monthly

“Unemployment claims are nearly a fifth of what they were a year ago, with more than 17,000 fewer San Diegans unemployed. Meanwhile, the labor force has grown by more than 26,000, which shows that people are optimistic about getting back to work in the region.”

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 May 2015 period. This month’s data shows that unemployment remained below five percent in May, as the economy continued to grow at an accelerated rate.

The unemployment rate remained below 5 percent at 4.9 percent. The rate is 1.3 points lower than the previous year and 0.1 points higher than the previous month. The U.S. and California average rates also increased to 5.3 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

Unemployment Rate

While the unemployment rate experienced a slight uptick, the labor report was generally positive. Unemployment claims fell by 17,200 since May 2014, an 18.2 percent drop. At the same time, the labor force grew by 26,500 from May 2014 to May 2015 as the employers added more than 42,000 jobs. While labor force growth in May is typical in the region, the scale is much greater than in past years. This indicates that job seekers are becoming more confident as employers continue to add jobs

When looking at monthly or seasonal employment, San Diego County employers added 9,500 jobs from April to May. Goods-producers like construction and manufacturing added 2,300 jobs or roughly one quarter of all employment, while tourism accounted for more than half of the seasonal growth.

Unemployment Claims

From a year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, the region’s economy grew by 3.2 percent, adding 42,400 jobs from May 2014 to May 2015. The year-to-year growth rate in San Diego continued to outpace the national average of 2.2 percent. Employment growth slowed slightly in the past few months, dipping below three percent, so this month's report is a positive sign that the slowing wasn't a pattern.

The private sector economy accounted for 93.9 percent of the year-to-year job growth and grew by 3.6 percent. This rate also outpaced the U.S. growth rate, which was 2.6 percent over that same period. This job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors and employment did not fall in any sectors in the regional economy. Construction grew by 7.1 percent and added 4,500 jobs. Ship and boat building grew by 18.3 percent and added 1,100 jobs. While manufacturing growth has been a concern in recent reports due to slow growth, the industry picked up the pace in May, growing by 2.2 percent, the highest annual rate since March of 2013.

Manufacturing

Innovation service sectors have continued to show high job growth through 2015. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.6 percent year-to-year, and accounted for approximately one-fifth of the annual job growth. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 4.3 percent since last May.

The region’s tourism industry continued to show high year-to-year and seasonal growth as well. The leisure and hospitality industry added 8,500 jobs from May 2014 to May 2015, which is about 4.8 percent growth. The industry added 4,900 jobs from April to May, likely due to the ramping up of tourism season in the region. Employment services or staffing agencies experienced high growth in May. The industry added 500 jobs from March to April and 1,200 jobs since the previous year as people are getting back to work.

Year-to-Year Growth

The May labor market report was a great sign for the continued health of the region's economy. While the unemployment rate increased, it remained below five percent amid high labor force growth. Unemployment claims continued to fall year-to-year as the economy continued to grow at a pace well-above the national average. Growth remains concentrated in our traded economy sectors, like tourism and innovation, and in middle-to-high wage industries, like health care and construction. It will be interesting to see if this these positive signs will lead to continued growth in labor force through the summer months.

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.

 

June 19, 2015


Since its launch in 2014 as part of Governor Jerry Brown’s economic development initiative, the California Competes Tax Credit has awarded close to $124 million in credits to California companies that will hire 24,088 jobs over the next five years.

Yesterday, the Cal Competes Tax Credit Committee voted to approve an additional $47 million in tax credits, which will create 11,343 additional jobs, closing out FY14-15 - the first full year of the program. Since the programs inception, 242 companies have received tax credits totaling more than $171.5 million; more than 35,430 jobs will be created and $9.74 billion invested in the state’s economy.

San Diego companies are received more than $19.9 million of these tax credits, or 11.6 percent of all tax credits awarded throughout the state. These funds will help San Diego companies create 3,968 jobs, invest more than $877 million back into their respective companies, and pay more than $646 million in wages over the next five years. 

Companies such as BAE Systems, iboss Cybersecurity, Modern Times, NASSCO and Underground Elephant were awarded these credits.

After the vote next week, San Diego is positioned to rank 2nd in terms of the amount of jobs created and 4th in the amount of tax credits won.

Regional Breakdown of Cal Competes Awards

June 11, 2015

Recently, EDC released its April Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released April 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 4.8 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 11th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From April 2014 to April 2015, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.3 percentage points, which ranked 4th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by 2.6 percent from April 2014 to April 2015, which ranked 7th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 6.4 percentwhich ranked 4th.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 1.9 percent from the previous year, the 9th highest growth rate.

[Unmployment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the April 2015 period for all U.S. metro areas. At 4.8 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.3 points from this time last year. This was the 4th largest drop in the nation, among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. That fall kept San Diego's rank at 11th among major U.S. metros and it remained below the U.S. overall rate of 5.1 percent.  

[Employment Chart]

When looking at employment growth, San Diego remained well above the national average. From April 2014 to April 2015, the region's employment grew by 2.6 percent, which ranked 7th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 1.4 percent. Growth has slowed substantially across the U.S., but San Diego has consistently outpaced the national employment growth this year and has been among the top 10 competitive metros in the nation.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's innovation economy is largely driving the region's growth. The region is outpacing nearly 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 6.4 percent since last April, the 4th most out of any metro studied here. This figure was nearly double the U.S. average and only behind Seattle and California peers San Francisco and Riverside, which is a positive sign for the state and region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

San Diego's manufacturing sector growth picked up a bit in April. 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 April 2014 to April 2015, manufacturing employment grew by 1.9 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment growth was above the U.S. rate of 1.6 percent. The region recorded the 9th highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. San Diego's position remained unchanged this month, but it's employment growth is much higher than it has been in past months. In the previous 12 months, the region's average annual growth rate was 1.3 percent, so the 1.9 percent growth recorded in April is a good sign for manufacturing employment.

While overall employment growth and growth in our manufacturing sector again wasn't comparatively stellar, the region's economy is still generally tracking well above the U.S. average and many of its peers. Unemployment is lower than average and experienced one of the largest annual drops in the nation. Meanwhile, our PST industry continues to be among the fastest growing in the nation.

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with May 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, June 19thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.

June 5, 2015

Last night, we were joined by more than 800 of our closest friends at SeaWorld to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. A lot has changed over the past 50 years, but one thing has remained constant: through it all, we’ve told a story about a region that we’re proud to call home.

These are some of the people that have helped write that story:

EDC legacy leaders

And as we embark on the next 50 years, we know the faces will probably look at little more like this:

EDC present leaders

Our fearless chairman Vince Mudd summed it up when he said “While we know technology and science will continue to change at light speed, we also know the same principles – innovation, leadership and collaboration – that carried and guided us in the past, will continue to carry and guide us long into the future."

Thank you to all who celebrated with us last night.

#EDCturns50

TAGS
May 29, 2015

Earlier this week, the Brookings Institution published The 10 Lessons from Global Trade and Investment Planning in U.S. Metro Areas.

As one of the pilot cities in the development of a trade and investment plan, San Diego has learned a lot about itself in its ability to better compete globally. Below are the lessons learned:

 

(1) The primary benefit of global trade and investment is increased competitiveness, not quick jobs.

There is a reason the goal of the Go Global initiative is to maximize San Diego’s global competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement: increasing exports and attracting foreign investment (FDI) take time. Once a company decides to go global and export, it takes the firm 18 months on average to finally get its product abroad. 

 

(2) The most important firms are the ones you already have.

When more than 98 percent of the national job growth comes from startups and business expansions, it’s hard to ignore San Diego’s most important assets – its own companies.  When Takeda Pharmaceuticals, one of the oldest and largest companies in Japan, decided to condense its West Coast operations, it chose San Diego – closing the San Francisco office and moving those jobs into the region. 

       

 

(3) FDI and exports are closely linked.

Innovation-based industries that export San Diego’s leading products and services are also the drivers of FDI into the region. Reinforcing this relationship, FDI in these industries has catalyzed international exports as parent companies open new markets for San Diego establishments.  Aerospace products, pharmaceuticals, communications equipment, and semiconductors – all of which are strong exporting industries and large sources of FDI. 

 

(4) Leading with real specializations opens doors for firms.

Case in point: Go Global San Diego Strategy 4, Tactic 5: Reinforce research institutions leading innovation. Leading with San Diego’s premier research institutions will enable the spillover effects these institutions create – starting new companies and growing jobs. Hybritech, San Diego’s first biotech company, was co-founded by two professors from UC San Diego. Since then, UC San Diego’s faculty, staff, and students have founded more than 640 companies. 

“Our location is key for collaboration and talent recruitment with institutions like UCSD and Scripps. These assets make San Diego an attractive place for foreign firms to establish U.S. beachheads.” – San Diego pharmaceutical company                                                

 

(5) The middle market offers outsized opportunities.

EDC’s MetroConnect prize, funded by JPMorgan Chase, will assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in their ability to go global. SMEs represent more than 99 percent of businesses in the region and are responsible for much of the innovation and job creation activity that propels our economy. The success of these firms is critical to the region’s future, and increasing their global reach is crucial to that success.

 

(6) Mergers and acquisitions are the dominant form of FDI.

Of the FDI that came to San Diego between 1991 and 2011, 60 percent did so through M&A activity. This represents more than 72,600 jobs that transferred from domestic to foreign ownership. Post-acquisition, some of these companies continue to grow. Althea Technologies, acquired by Japanese food and chemical company Ajinomoto, has had access to new markets and new capital previously unseen by the company, growing by more than 20 percent since its acquisition.

 

(7) Global engagement must be a demonstrated priority.

Focus on high impact trade missions. Implement a global identity campaign. Build a proactive protocol network of civic and business organizations. Retain and attract international flight routes to key markets.

One thing these tactics have in common is that organizations throughout San Diego must have a mindset and culture that is global in nature. Having one organization carry the weight of interacting with global players is a lot of work. Having a network of organizations that work together in attracting new flights, execute trade missions, and implement a global identity ensures San Diego can reap the benefits of global connectivity. 

 

(8) Global commerce is driven by relationships and networks.

San Diego is one of the most active binational cross-border regions in the world. Global trends are making Mexico, and Baja California in particular, an increasingly favorable location for manufacturing. Their proximity to San Diego gives our region a clear competitive advantage.

 

(9) Metro areas are unsure of how to harness emerging forms of global capital.

When it comes to global patent intensity, San Diego ranks third, yet when compared to U.S. cities, it ranks a distant eighth in terms of the amount of venture capital activity in the region. Because of this, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, research institutions, and a whole host of other entities are increasingly looking to alternative sources of capital – EB-5, limited partners, sovereign wealth funds, corporate partnerships. Finding ways to leverage these resources can help bridge these capital gaps. 

 

(10) Competing on a global scale requires that metros intensify efforts on other critical economic issues.

“Workforce and infrastructure have consistently surfaced as the two issues that are increasingly threatening the competitiveness of companies and regions.” Feeding talent to companies and releasing the bottleneck from inefficient infrastructure can improve economic competitiveness and help grow the economy. Hence why the Link2 series, activating alumni networks, and modernizing key infrastructure assets are all key tactics of the Go Global San Diego initiative.

 

May 22, 2015

Manpower_Monthly

Download a printable version

“San Diego’s unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly eight years as tens of thousands of San Diegans are finding jobs thanks to steady economic growth. We are seeing fewer unemployment claims as thousands return to the labor force.”

Phil Blair, President and CEO
Manpower San Diego


Highlights image

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 April 2015 period. This month’s data shows that unemployment continued to fall in April, as the economy continued to grow at a steady rate.

The unemployment rate fell below 5 percent for the first time since December 2007 and it is the lowest it has been since June 2007. At 4.8 percent, the rate is 1.3 points lower than the previous year and 0.3 points lower than the previous month. The U.S. and California average rates also fell substantially to 5.1 percent and 6.1 percent respectively.

UE_04_15

Unemployment fell so sharply from March to April because the labor force fell by 3,200 and unemployment claims fell by 4,900. While it is concerning that the labor force fell over the monthly period, it isn’t uncommon for the period due to seasonal forces. More importantly, the labor force increased by 17,400 and unemployment claims decreased by 18,900 from April 2014 to April 2015.

When looking at monthly or seasonal employment, San Diego County employers added 4,900 jobs from March to April. Goods-producers like construction and manufacturing experienced slight seasonal decline, while tourism and health care accounted for nearly all of the seasonal growth.

From a year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, NFE_04_15 the region’s economy continued to grow around 3.0 percent, adding 38,300 jobs from April 2014 to April 2015. The year-to-year growth rate has been consistently above the 2014 annual average of 2.2 percent. So far in 2015, that annual average is at 3.1 through April.

The private sector economy accounted for 93.6 percent of the year-to-year job growth and grew by 3.4 percent. This rate also outpaced the U.S. growth rate, which was 2.6 percent over that same period. This job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors. Construction grew by 5.3 percent and added 3,300 jobs, despite a mild seasonal decline. One of the region’s key manufacturing sectors ship and boat building grew by 18.6 percent and added 1,100 jobs. However, manufacturing growth continued to grow at a slow pace of 1.8 percent, which remains a concern given the importance of the industry to the region’s economy.

Innovation service sectors have continued to show high job growth through 2015. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.39 percent year-to-year, PST_04_15and accounted for approximately one-fifth of the annual job growth. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 5.26 percent since last March.

The region’s tourism continued to show high year-to-year growth as well. The leisure and hospitality industry added 6,500 jobs over that period, which is about 3.72 percent growth. Food service and drinking places accounted for 6,500 of those jobs. Health care services experienced high seasonal and non-seasonal growth. Education & Health services added 400 jobs from March to April and 5,900 jobs since the previous year.

YoY_04_15

The April labor market report continued to show positive indicators about the health of our regional economy. The unemployment rate fell below five percent for the first time since 2007. There remains concern about the slow return of the labor force from year-to-year since the recession, but unemployment claims are consistently falling and firms are steadily adding jobs. Growth remains concentrated in our traded economy sectors and in middle-wage industries like health care and construction. It will be interesting to see if this steady growth encourages greater labor force participation in the coming months.

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.


 

May 22, 2015

This past week, EDC traveled across the Pacific - by way of our direct JAL flight -  to release the National Geographic documentary in one of San Diego’s largest international trade and investment cities: Tokyo.

Tokyo based companies employ more than 6,300 people in San Diego, ranking as the largest source of foreign employment. When looking at advanced industries, these companies primarily invest in audio and video equipment manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, and medical equipment and supplies manufacturing. According to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), companies that fall into these industries reported they will record a surplus in business profit in 2014 – a positive sign for San Diegans employed by these very same companies and our economy.

As part of the trade missions, EDC met with Japanese companies and organizations which have San Diego ties in order to strengthen relationships and learn more about specific challenges they face.

Day 1

EDC, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego Tourism Authority, and Supervisor Ron Roberts met with Japan Airlines. The Airport gave an impressive update to JAL, stating that the flight has been very successful since the launch. The Airport, along with the other delegates, impressed upon JAL that the direct flight between San Diego – Tokyo is among the most important for the region, continuing to strengthen the business ties and drive investment into the respective regions.

JAL team along with the Airport, Supervisor Ron Roberts, EDC, and SDTA

EDC met with the U.S.-Japan Embassy following the JAL meeting. This meeting served as an important connection for San Diego, as many of the Embassy staff in Japan focus on industries important to the region – aerospace, life sciences, cybersecurity and defense. Having Embassy staff understand the strengths and assets of San Diego help to build a bigger and better portfolio for staff, especially when they are meeting with companies important to the region.

Day 1 concluded with a dinner at the American Club in Tokyo. JPMorgan Chase sent their commercial industry representative, Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto, who gave an overview of the Tokyo economy and companies that are and will be important to San Diego.

Day 2
Day 2 began with a 2 hour ride to Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Kanagawa. As one of the largest pharmaceuticals companies in the world, and the largest in Japan with more than 3 million employees worldwide, Takeda is one of San Diego’s most important companies. After consolidating the San Francisco office into San Diego, more than half of all research and development now occurs in San Diego.

Following the morning’s meeting with Takeda, EDC participated in a lunch with Al Pisano, Dean of UC San Diego’s Jacobs Schools of Engineering, and UC San Diego alumni located in Tokyo. The lunch proved to showcase the many interesting and important people UC San Diego brings through its campus – with alumni working on robotics to running their own business in Tokyo.

After lunch it was off to San Diego’s iconic example of how an acquisition can be extremely beneficial to the success and profitability of a company; Ajinomoto. Ajinomoto acquired Althea Technologies in 2013. Since then, Althea has proved a successful venture for Ajinomoto – forging a strong pathway for the company’s expansion into the healthcare sector.


Ajinomoto’s Dr. Osamu Kurahashi and Masahiko Oshimura with EDC’s Mark Cafferty and Lauree Sahba

Good thing regenerative medicine is becoming a focus in Japan, because San Diego has plenty of resources to go around. Whiz Partners, a private equity firm located in Tokyo, helped bring insight into what funds in Japan are focusing on and what companies in the near future will look for.

Mark Cafferty presenting on San Diego’s economy to Tokyo business leaders
Mark Cafferty presenting on San Diego’s economy to Tokyo business leaders

The evening’s activities began with the Jacobs School of Engineering seminar. Dean Pisano gave a presentation about some of the incredible research being undertaken at the university – from microchip processors that are small enough to be a patch to monitor a premature baby’s vitals to technology around a smart grid, analyzing data to improve and streamline energy use on campus.

The premiere hosted more than 140 Japanese business leaders – including executives from Toray to Toshiba to JAL to Panasonic.

UCSD alumni attending the premiere


Overflow room for Nat Geo Premiere

Day 3
The final day of the trip EDC met with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). JETRO acts as the commercial service office for the country of Japan. They annually dispatch companies to the west coast from the gaming, tech, and life science industry. JETRO has an amazing incubator for foreign businesses. Any foreign business who wishes to do business in Japan, JETRO has a one-stop shop where business can lease space in an office which houses a representative from every branch of government in order to expedite the formation of their business.

Special thanks to all of the support from the delegates who traveled to Japan to strengthen San Diego’s connections to Tokyo and Japan – SeaWorld, Qualcomm, San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Port of San Diego, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, and UC San Diego. We look forward to hosting more missions to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Lastly, what would a trade mission to Japan be without a trip to a ballgame?