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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 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 29, 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.


There are 3.2 billion base pairs in your genome. Although all of this information is contained within a single cell, decoding it – and thus understanding many diseases and pathologies – is a challenge.  

San Diego-based Cypher Genomics, winner of the MetroConnect Prize, may be changing that.

We’re working to translate your genome into actionable information to impact human health,” said Adam Simpson, COO of Cypher Genomics at the MetroConnect launch on July 1.

Cypher is working to solve a large problem facing the genomics industry – genome interpretation. As one of the 15 winners of the MetroConnect Prize, Cypher will be taking its genome decoding technology to the rest of the globe. 

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, companies such as Cypher Genomics received $10,000 grants to assist with their next step in going global.

Cypher plans to use the prize money to advance business development efforts around the globe including in the United Kingdom, Japan and China. Not only are these countries that can benefit from genomics technology, but they are also among San Diego’s top five trade partners. Simpson is currently en route to the U.K. to use some of the funds.

As Cypher has learned, they’re not promoting their own business, but also the San Diego region. San Diego is known across the globe as a major contender in the life sciences industry.  Just last week, JLL found that San Diego had the fourth largest life sciences cluster in the nation.  Although we may have just missed the top three, when it comes to genomics, San Diego is the gold standard.

Like many successful San Diego life sciences firms, Cypher traces its roots back to our research institutes on the Mesa. What started as an idea inside of the Scripps Research Institute has morphed into a 10 plus person company. Chaired by industry vet Hank Nordoff (Hank also chaired EDC’s board from 2004 -2006), Cypher is in good company with many other leading genomics companies including Illumina, Sequenom and others.  

We have incredible academic institutions. We have access to incredible talent, wonderful people, and great companies. San Diego really is THE city for genomics, said Simpson.

The MetroConnect Prize is made possible by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

You can read Cypher Genomics' blog post about the MetroConnect prize here.

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 1, 2015

2015 MetroConnect Prize Press Conference 062

San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, San Diego Regional EDC, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and business and civic leaders, today unveiled the 15 companies selected to receive the MetroConnect Prize. . Managed by San Diego Regional EDC, and presented by JPMorgan Chase, the MetroConnect Prize grants 15 San Diego companies $10,000 each in order to assist with developing international business opportunities. The complete list of prize recipients can be found here.

Opportunity starts in San Diego and with MetroConnect, we are helping out successful, home-grown San Diego startups so they can share that opportunity across our local economy and spread San Diego’s innovative products and services across the world,” said city of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “ I look forward to seeing these San Diego companies thrive and grow, as we continue to tell San Diego’s success story to the rest of the world.”

The MetroConnect Prize is made possible by JPMorgan Chase, a company committed to helping San Diego reach its full economic potential.

JPMorgan Chase is pleased to support these San Diego businesses that are going global,” said Brennon Crist, head of JPMorgan Chase’s Middle Market Commercial Banking group in San Diego. ‘’We hope the MetroConnect Prize program will enable these local firms to spend time in their target international markets, so they can visit suppliers and potential customers. In time, their export efforts could lead to job creation and growth of the San Diego economy.”

MetroConnectWHY GO GLOBAL?        
With more than 85 percent of global growth through 2019 projected to occur outside of the U.S., global engagement is a big opportunity for many American cities, such as San Diego. According to the Brookings Institution, San Diego has the 17th largest economy in the U.S. in terms of GDP, but ranks 61st in terms of export intensity. In March 2015, Mayor Faulconer, San Diego Regional EDC and others launched the Go Global San Diego initiative, designed to help San Diego businesses attract foreign customers and investment and target key metro markets, including: London, Tokyo, Stockholm and other major global cities. The MetroConnect Prize was announced as a transactional way of helping companies reach more customers, thus translating into economic gain and job creation for the region.

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.

On the heels of national political gridlock around trade legislation, working with companies at a metropolitan level is essential if we want to grow jobs and our economy.

“The best way to create jobs locally is to concentrate on growing the small and medium–sized businesses we currently have in San Diego,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional EDC, the organization administering the grants. “With JPMorgan Chase’s help, we’ve essentially developed a business accelerator for helping companies go global.”

MetroConnect Prize recipients will not only have access to funds, but also EDC and its affiliates’ international networks. In 2015 alone, EDC and many partners have traveled to London, Paris and Tokyo and will be heading to Brisbane and Sydney this week to further develop these networks critical to the success of local businesses.

FROM 64 to 15: SELECTING THE WINNERS
In total, 64 companies applied to receive the MetroConnect Prize. Companies were selected based on a variety of criteria, including interest in new markets, interest in targeted metro markets, assessed impact of funds, current international plan and more.  A panel of judges, including representatives from Biocom, Connect, Qualcomm Ventures, Quantum Designs, San Diego Regional EDC, Software San Diego and Wireless Life Sciences Alliance, selected the winners.  

From Cypher Genomics (a spin-off from The Scripps Research Institute), which employs 10 people locally, to Applied Membranes, a Vista-based maritime technology company that employs 175 individuals, these  prize recipients represent a diverse cross section of San Diego’s innovation economy. These small to medium–sized businesses are representative of industries in life sciences, digital health, action sports, telecommunications, maritime technology and cybersecurity. (Please see “Company Stories” for more information about employment numbers, average revenue and more.)

One company receiving the prize is EdgeWave, a San Diego-based company that employs 65 people.  Currently, the cybersecurity company derives 10 percent of its revenue from foreign sources, and is looking to use the funds to further develop markets in Manila, Philippines and Shanghai, China.

Cyber attacks threaten the growth of the global economy and we are all affected by the damage done by hackers,” said Dave Maquera, EdgeWave president and CEO. “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.  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.

Companies can use the funds for a variety of global services including travel (to and from target market), participation in a trade show, establishment of a foreign subsidiary to operate in the market of interest, foreign language translation of marketing materials, export plan development and more. The funds are not expected to cover all of the expenses a company incurs in going global. Rather, the MetroConnect Prize was created by San Diego Regional EDC and JPMorgan Chase as a way to incentivize companies to kick start global efforts or explore a new foreign market.

Thanks to Japan Airlines, companies looking to increase ties with the Japanese market have the added benefit of discounted flights to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Currently, Tokyo is one of the two direct intercontinental flights from San Diego International Airport.

A GLOBAL GRAND PRIZE
Announced at the press conference today at the San Diego International Airport, MetroConnect Prize winners will also be eligible for the MetroConnect grand prize, an additional $50,000 to help one or two companies advance their global agendas. In late 2015, MetroConnect Prize recipients will be invited to share their stories for the judges, who will select the grand prize recipient(s).

Congratulations to the award winners:

Follow the conversation at #GlobalSD or #MetroConnect

 

TAGS
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 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.

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.

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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.