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Economic Drivers

August 21, 2015

Phil Blair

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“Every indicator points San Diego in a positive direction, especially employment growth figures, which are really picking up speed. Every year, thousands of education workers temporarily respond as unemployed once schools go on summer break, but these people do not actually leave the labor force. We should not be concerned about the four tenths uptick in unemployment.
Phil Blair, Executive Officer
Manpower San Diego


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.

Highlights

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the July 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 above 5 percent to 5.4 percent in July. The rate is 1.5 points lower than the previous year and 0.4 points higher than the previous month. The California average rate also climbed to 6.5 percent, while the U.S. average rate climbed slightly to 5.6 percent, meaning San Diego remained much lower than the state and national averages.

The unemployment rate almost always climbs substantially from June to July due to seasonal effects related to education employment. Every year, thousands of education workers temporarily report to EDD as unemployed once schools go on summer break, but these people do not actually leave the labor force. From June to July 2015, public and private education employment fell by 14,500. This drives up the unemployment rate despite an otherwise healthy economy. Looking at the year-over-year change demonstrates this another way. From July 2014 to July 2015, total unemployment filings fell by 20.0 percent and the rate fell by 1.5 points, all while 26,600 people were added to the labor force.

Unemployment Rate

The region’s economy picked up dramatically. San Diego's total nonfarm employment grew by 3.6 percent year-over-year, adding 48,200 jobs from July 2014 to July 2015. This is the highest year-over-year percent change since March 2012 to March 2013. San Diego's growth rate was much higher than the 2.1 percent national rate. The San Diego region is now expected to average 3.2 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014.

Despite the overall seasonal decline in employment, the private sector economy actually added more than 10,000 jobs from June to July, mostly in the tourism and innovation economy. Year-over-year, the total private sector grew by 3.9 percent, outpacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.4 percent. Roughly three-fourths of all year-over-year private job growth in San Diego came from five key sectors: construction, manufacturing, tourism, health care, and professional, scientific and technical services (PST).

Total Nonfarm Employment

Goods-producing industries continued to show strong growth, alone accounting for 17.1 percent of all private job growth. From July 2014 to July 2015, the manufacturing industry added 2,500 jobs and grew by 2.6 percent growth. The ship and boat building industry continued to grow at an outstanding rate. Meanwhile, the construction industry added 5,000 jobs and grew by 7.8 percent.

The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 7.4 percent year-to-year, and accounted for 21.9 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, grew at an impressive 5.2 percent rate.

YoY

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s health care sector, which added 6,200 jobs and accounted for approximately 14.2 percent of the region’s private job growth. The tourism industry added 8,500 jobs and accounted for 19.4 percent of the region's growth. Employment services or staffing in the region grew by 1,600 jobs and has been steadily increasing all year. All of these industries grew faster than the overall private economy.

It is most important to emphasize that the seasonal climb in the unemployment rate is not indicative of problems in the economy. In fact, the economy appears to continue to pick up speed, particularly in a few key sectors. The unemployment rate is expected to fall the rest of 2015, likely dipping back below 5.0 percent by September. Compared to this time last year, the labor force is way up, unemployment is way down and employment is growing at a faster pace than it has for years, which are all great signs for San Diego.

Contributions

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.

 

August 19, 2015

This is part of an ongoing series on the recipients of the MetroConnect Prize, a grant awarded to 15 companies looking to expand into new foreign markets and made possible by JPMorgan Chase. Subscribe here to receive new posts every Wednesday on this topic.


“The future of water is going to be turbulent for all of us — not far away, but right where we live; not in some distant decade, but next month or next spring. A sense of water insecurity is coming to many places that have never had a water worry.” – Charles Fishman, “How California is Winning the Drought”, New York Times

Water. The world’s most precious resource. It is the fuel of manufacturing and the embodiment of craft beer. It is the heartbeat of international trade and the platform for mass entertainment.

Lately, this resource has been incredibly scarce across the globe, especially in California. However, the innovation coming out of government and business has begun to address this dire need; for instance, Israel overcame its lack of water by building desalination plants. Six years later, Israel is no longer “drying up”. In 2014, Saudi Arabia began construction on the world’s largest desalination plant. Not only is San Diego building the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere in Carlsbad, it is also the world leader in the technology that is enabling these countries to build such important devices that bring potable sea water to the masses.

“San Diego County was the ‘birthplace’ of the commercialization of spiral wound reverse osmosis membrane technology,” said Dr. Gil Dhawan, founder and CEO at Applied Membranes. “Our company, started here and this area is a very desirable place to be – having local access to talented individuals and knowledgeable customers, we can design and manufacture the best available water treatment solutions.”

Reverse osmosis membranes separate the impurities in water to create filtered water, which people can drink or companies can use to manufacture craft beer.

Dr. Dhawan worked extensively with Dr. Sourirajan, the inventor of the first commercial reverse osmosis membranes. After working with one of the industry’s founding fathers, Dr. Dhawan started his own company. Headquartered in Vista, Applied Membranes is a manufacturer and distributor of water filtration systems and components that revolve around this technology.

With more than 175 employees in the region and more than 30 years of experience, Applied Membranes is one of the most global companies in San Diego. It currently does business in North Africa, Europe, the Middle East and many other regions around the world.

San Diego’s maritime industry is one of the largest in the U.S. The success of the industry’s small- and medium-sized companies is critical to the region’s future, and increasing their global reach is crucial to that success. Through the MetroConnect Prize, made possible by JPMorgan Chase, companies such as Applied Membranes received $10,000 grants to assist with their next step in going global.

“We are using the money for targeted travel to Japan and China to set up meetings with prospective customers/distributors and to attend trade shows,” said Dr. Dhawan. “We believe that both countries represent growth markets for our products.”

 


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August 12, 2015

This is part of an ongoing series on the recipients of the MetroConnect Prize, a grant awarded to 15 companies looking to expand into new foreign markets. Subscribe here to receive new posts every Wednesday on this topic.


 

“See it. Do it. Prove it.”
 
According to a ManpowerGroup survey, one in three U.S. employers experience difficulty in filling positions. Portfolium is changing the way companies can connect and find qualified and talented individuals.
 
Portfolium gives students and other job seekers the opportunity to showcase the projects and creations on which they've worked to future employers. Instead of a static page where someone lists their work experience and education, Portfolium introduces a new and innovative way to present one’s capabilities and skills. 
 
"Portfolium is bridging the workforce skills gap by empowering and connecting students from 2,000+ universities with opportunities to discover, develop and prove their skills to employers,” said Adam Markowitz, founder & CEO at Portfolium. 
 
SMEs represent the vast majority 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. Through the MetroConnect Prize, made possible by JPMorgan Chase, companies such as Portfolium received $10,000 grants to assist with their next step in going global. 
 
"We're incredibly thankful for the MetroConnect Prize, which has already helped broaden our reach and empower thousands of students across the globe,” said Markowitz. “By partnering with global universities and institutions, we're able to reach an even broader and more culturally diverse population making the jump from college to career.”
 
Portfolium currently exports its services to Spain, Mexico and Argentina. With the funds from MetroConnect, Portfolium aims to expand into the United Kingdom, Japan, China and other countries throughout North America, South America, and Asia. 
 
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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August 6, 2015

SD Cal Competes - By the numbers(2)

On Friday last week, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and more than 40 San Diego businesses attended the first workshop for the Cal Competes Tax Credit Program this fiscal year. Now in its second year, Cal Competes is attracting the attention of a diverse set of businesses all over the state.

Last year, California awarded $175 million in tax credits and this year, the program is set to award more than $200 million to the most competitive applicants in three separate funding rounds.

Cal Competes allows businesses to request a tax credit based on their investment in state and the number of employees they hire in the next five years. Determining how to effectively select a competitive ask is where the EDC team can step in to provide specific insights. Our goal is to help as many companies as possible put their best foot forward. In previous rounds, EDC has worked closely with companies like NASSCO & BAE to submit applications.

If your business is planning to incur significant expenses in the next several years in either capital investments or new hires, EDC is ready and willing to help you join the 33 San Diego County companies who won credits in the first year of the program.

These are your tax dollars. Why not win some of them back?

To learn more about the program, please contact Jesse Gipe at jg@sandiegbusiness.org

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins Cal Competes

Program Schedule

July 20, 2015, through August 17, 2015 ($75 million available)

January 4, 2016, through January 25, 2016 ($75 million available)

March 7, 2016, through March 28, 2016 ($50.9 million plus any remaining unallocated amounts from the previous application periods)

To learn more about last year’s results: goo.gl/dTqPwL

August 5, 2015

This is part of an ongoing series on the recipients of the MetroConnect Prize, a grant, provided by JPMorgan Chase, awarded to 15 companies looking to expand into new foreign markets. Subscribe here to receive new posts every Wednesday on this topic.


Wearable Sensing

One of the most often misquoted facts about our brain is that we only use 10 percent of it. The original quote, from over 100 years ago, stated “the brain is so complex we only know what 10 percent of it is used for.”

Wearable Sensing’s technology aims to change this perception by expanding scientists’ understanding of the inner workings of the human brain.

Wearable Sensing manufactures and sells wearable, wireless, and dry sensor EEG brain activity monitoring systems. This technology, which was developed at San Diego-based Quantum Applied Science and Research (QUASAR), enables research grade EEG recording in real-world environments. From improving athletic performance for Red Bull professional surfers to mind-controlling robotic arms for arm wrestling to understanding traumatic brain injury in soldiers, Wearable Sensing’s monitoring systems have numerous applications.

As a San Diego-based company, Wearable Sensing is in one of the leading regions worldwide for the convergence of healthcare and wireless technology. Regional institutions and companies, such as UC San Diego, are creating products and devices that are changing the way healthcare is managed and distributed to patients.

“San Diego is a world leader in wireless telecommunications and one of the world leaders in the life sciences,” said Rob McCray, president & CEO at Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance and a MetroConnect Prize judge, in an interview with KPBS. “We are putting tools that enable people to take better care of their own health and even provide management of their health care.

It is because of small- and medium-sized companies that San Diego’s life sciences industry ranks fourth in the U.S. The success of these firms is critical to the region’s future, and increasing their global reach is crucial to that success. Through the MetroConnect Prize, made possible by JPMorgan Chase, companies such as Wearable Sensing received $10,000 grants to assist with their next step in going global.

“We receive inquiries from academic researchers and companies all around the world due to the reputation of our sensors,” said Walid Soussou, president at Wearable Sensing. “We see international distribution as key to our growth strategy.”

Wearable Sensing plans to spend the funding towards completing the necessary steps to receive the CE mark certification. Following the certification, the company will target the European market for expansion. It is currently developing opportunities in Latin America and will further develop contacts in the Asian market. 


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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 31, 2015

San Diego Regional EDC, (EDC), Equinox Center, the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI),and Posiba - with funding from The San Diego Foundation - launched INSIGHT San Diego yesterday. As the collaborative  planned the future of our region, they recognized the need to take record of how and where progress is measured.

This collective is an informative web platform designed to educate policy makers and the community on issues relevant to our regional quality of life- social equity, economic resilience, and environmental sustainability. 

“As we envisioned the future of our region, many recognized our need to also take inventory of where we are and measure our progress,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego EDC. “We hope this collaboration with real time, unbiased feedback will inspire all to see that our varied perspectives can enrich the understanding of our region. These are truly exciting times for San Diego.”

Notably, an aspect of this vision is to make data more available for use by local municipalities, planning councils and service organizations as they consider the future of their respective communities, along with the needs and desires of their populations.

"INSIGHT San Diego emerged from local partnerships with the mutual interest of building a sustainable region. Equinox Center relies on these partnerships with leading organizations to increase its impact and continue building a healthy environment, strong economy and vibrant communities,” stated Stephen Heverly, managing director, Equinox Center.

This is the first installment in this collaborative effort to use data research and analytics. INSIGHT San Diego is designed to measure progress on advancing the priorities identified by 30,000 San Diego residents in Our Greater San Diego Vision, supported by The San Diego Foundation, for improving quality of life throughout the region. More recently, a University of Southern California study, Linking Innovation With Inclusion, identified our region’s growing diversity as an untapped source of strength for our innovation economy. 

According to Clare Crawford, executive director at CPI, “Equity is integral to having a healthy environment and a strong and sustainable economy in San Diego. This project is a great first step in having our researchers come together and look at the issues affecting our region. Through cross sector collaborations like these we hope to move San Diego forward."

Additionally, the project will analyze the region’s innovation, competition, and local talent attraction in order to continue the momentum of national attention San Diego has recently received from entities including Forbes and Inc., who boast San Diego’s rapidly advancing startup culture. San Diego was also just featured by National Geographic as part of its "World's Smart Cities" series, as one of 18 cities featured from around the world, showcasing San Diego’s quality of life, technology sector, and local modernizers.

You can view pictures from the launch here: goo.gl/UcK4qQ

EDC's participation in the project was made possible by the Morgan Family Foundation

Please check out INSIGHT San Diego at insightsandiego.info and let us know what you think. Join the conversation at #INSIGHTsd

July 17, 2015

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“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.

 

June 23, 2015

When Mark Cafferty was recruited to take the reins at EDC in 2011, his first assignment was simple. Then executive committee member Vincent Mudd asked him to “tell us what the cover of Fortune Magazine will look like in five years.” A few days later, Mark came back with a well-crafted cover displayed in English, Spanish and Japanese. It is anecdotes like this that have defined EDC over the past 50 years.

Almost five years later, Vincent Mudd, now serving as chairman of EDC, delivered his annual talk at EDC’s 50th Annual Dinner.  Combing through the archives, he pays homage to EDC’s past – recounting the transformative leadership that has shaped the region  – and gives us a glimpse into what the future might look like.

Watch below: 

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.