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Monthly Report

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

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“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 8, 2015

Recently, EDC released its March Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released March 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 5.1 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 11th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From March 2014 to March 2015, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -2.0 percentage points, which ranked 3rd.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by 3.1 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, which ranked 10th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 7.2 percentwhich ranked 3rd.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 1.5 percent from the previous year, the 9th highest growth rate.

[Unmployment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the March 2015 period for all U.S. metro areas. At 5.1 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 2.0 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 brought San Diego's rank to 11th among major U.S. metros and placed it below the U.S. overall rate of 5.6 percent.  

[Employment Chart]

When looking at employment growth, San Diego was above the national average. From March 2014 to March 2015, the region's employment grew by 3.1 percent, which ranked 10th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 2.3 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. 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 7.2 percent since last March, the 3rd most out of any metro studied here. This figure was roughly 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 has slowed in recent months. 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 March 2014 to March 2015, manufacturing employment grew by only 1.5 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment growth was just below the U.S. rate of 1.6 percent. The region recorded the 9th highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. Clearly, manufacturing has slowed in most major metros across the U.S. outside of Detroit, Denver and Portland, so this is not a sign unique to San Diego. However, it will remain important to track manufacturing in the coming months to see if growth accelerates.

While overall employment growth and growth in our manufacturing sector weren'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 April 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, May 15thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.

April 17, 2015

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"San Diego's labor market has really hit its stride. The unemployment rate is at a seven year low and two full percentage points lower than a year ago. More than 30,000 people who were unemployed have found employment in the past year, and the labor force continues to grow. Job growth has been led by key middle-to-high-wage industries like construction, health care, education, manufacturing and scientific services. These are great signs as we move ahead in 2015."
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 March 2015 period. This month’s data shows that unemployment was down again in March as the economy continued to grow at an increasingly solid pace.

The unemployment rate is likely the big story again this month since at 5.1 percent, it is the lowest it has been in nearly seven years (April 2008). This is 2.0 points lower than the previous year and 0.2 points lower than the previous month. San Diego’s unemployment rate remained below the U.S. average of 5.6 percent and well-below the California average of 6.5 percent. The region also experienced labor force growth. More than 3,000 people were added to the region's labor force from March 2014 to March 2015, indicating that the continued drop in unemployment is likely due to a healthy economy rather than a dwindling labor force.

[Unemployment Chart]

When looking at monthly or seasonal employment, San Diego County employers added 8,000 jobs from February to March. Construction accounted for a quarter of this monthly growth, adding 1,500 jobs from February to March. Tourism , health care and private education industries also experienced high seasonal growth, while retail and wholesale trade experienced slight seasonal declines.

From a year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, the region’s economy is showing signs of picking up the pace. Total non-farm employment grew by 40,900 jobs from March 2014 to March 2015­—a 3.1 percent growth rate. This exceeds the U.S. growth rate of 2.3 percent. In all three months to date in 2015, the region recorded annual job growth of more than three percent, compared to 2014 when not a single month exceeded three percent annual growth.

[Employment Chart]

The private sector economy accounted for 92 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 2.7 percent over that same period. This job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors. Construction jobs grew by 7.4 percent and added 4,600 jobs. One of the region’s key manufacturing sectors ship and boat building grew by 18.7 percent and added 1,100 jobs. 

Innovation service sectors also continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 7.2 percent year-to-year, and accounted for approximately a quarter of the 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 8.4 percent since last March.

[PST Chart]

The region’s tourism continued to show high year-to-year growth as well. The leisure and hospitality industry added 7,300 jobs over that period, which is about 4.3 percent growth. Food service and drinking places accounted for 7,000 of those jobs. Private and public education services experienced high seasonal and non-seasonal growth. Education services added 1,400 year-to-year jobs (4.5 percent growth) while state and local government education added 2,500 year-to-year jobs (3.0 percent growth).

The March labor market report was all around positive. Low unemployment, high job growth and a growing labor force are all excellent signs of burgeoning regional economy. More importantly, this growth continues to be driven by key sectors to the region's economy. Continued rapid growth in construction indicates that regional builders are constructing important infrastructure to address a growing economy. Furthermore, the region's key high-wage and innovative sectors are driving private sector growth. The region is far outpacing the state and nation in these important metrics, all good signs for the year ahead.

[Growth Chart]





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.

March 20, 2015

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"The San Diego regional economy continues to hum along at a steady pace. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in nearly seven years while we continue to add good jobs in our innovation and building industries each year. There are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic about 2015."
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 February 2015 period. This month’s data shows that unemployment was down in February as the economy continued to grow at a steady pace.

The unemployment rate is likely the big story this month since at 5.3 percent, it is the lowest it has been in nearly seven years (April 2008). This is roughly 1.8 points lower than the previous year and 0.5 points lower than the previous month. San Diego’s unemployment rate remained below the U.S. average of 5.8 percent and well-below the California average of 7.1 percent.

[Unemployment Chart]

When looking at monthly or seasonal employment, San Diego County employers added 6,200 jobs from January to February. Much of this growth came from the government sector, mostly from state and local education. Tourism and private education industries also experienced seasonal growth, while retail trade and construction experienced slight seasonal declines.

From an year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, the region’s economy continued its steady post-recession growth. Total non-farm employment grew by 39,700 jobs from February 2014 to February 2015­—a 3.0 percent growth rate. This exceeds the U.S. growth rate of 2.4 percent.

[Employment Chart]

The private sector economy accounted for 90 percent of the year-to-year job growth and grew by 3.3 percent. This rate also outpaced the U.S. growth rate, which was 2.8 percent over that same period.

Year-to-year job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors. Construction jobs grew by 5.2 percent and added 3,200 jobs, despite the small 400 job seasonal decline. Manufacturing growth has slowed since 2014, and recent EDD adjustments indicate that growth was lower than previously thought. However, one of the region’s key manufacturing sectors ship and boat building grew by more than 15 percent.

[PST Chart]

Innovation service sectors also continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.4 percent year-to-year. 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 7.7 percent since last February. Professional and business services overall accounted for one quarter of all year-to-year private job growth.

The region’s tourism sector was one of the few seasonal growth industries and also experienced high year-to-year growth. The leisure and hospitality industry added 8,200 jobs over that period, which is about 4.9 percent growth. Food service and drinking places accounted for most of the growth. Private and public education services experienced high seasonal and non-seasonal growth. Colleges, universities and professional schools added 1,300 year-to-year jobs (9.3 percent growth) while state and local government education added 3,200 year-to-year jobs (3.0 percent growth).

[Growth Chart]

EDD released adjustments to 2014 data earlier this month. Those adjustments indicate that 2014 growth wasn’t quite as high as expected, with annual job growth from ranging from 2.2 to 2.4 percent throughout 2014. Therefore, while some of the growth figures for February 2015 in this report appear lower than the growth rates shown in previous monthly reports, the region's economy is actually growing faster than it was throughout 2014. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in nearly seven years and employment growth has consistently outpaced the national average. This is a positive sign as the region continues to steadily grow post-recession.

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.

March 10, 2015

 

"The numbers show that San Diego's economy is off to a great start in 2015. We're continuing to see the same accelerated year-over-year job growth that we saw at the end of 2014. Seasonal rise in unemployment might skew this result, but by nearly all measures, we're in a better place than we were last year."
Phil Blair, President and CEO
Manpower San Diego


[Highlights]

NOTE: Due to the delayed release of  data by EDD, this post will be updated with charts once the full data set is released.

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 January 2015 period. The release reported that the San Diego County unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent and jobs declined by 20,100 from December 2014. January jobs figures are generally prone to seasonal effects, as retail jobs descend back to normal after the holiday season.

San Diego County’s unemployment rate rose by 0.3 points to 5.8 percent from the revised December figure of 5.5 percent. However, the unemployment rate remained 1.4 points lower than it was a year prior. The unemployment rate in the region was 1.5 points below California’s 7.3 percent rate and 0.3 points below the U.S. average of 6.1 percent. The unemployment rate rose, but not as much as California or the U.S. average. As noted, the rise is seasonal, since year-over-year data shows the region is in a far better place than January of the previous year.

San Diego County lost 20,100 jobs from December to January, but added a total of 40,400 jobs since January 2014. This equals a job growth rate of 3.1 percent over the year, which eclipsed the U.S. total employment growth rate over the same period. Year-over-year data is a better indicator of economic growth since it controls for seasonal changes. Therefore, despite a seemingly alarming monthly decline, the region's economy is steadily growing.

Year-over-year job growth continued to be fueled by the private sector. San Diego County private businesses added 36,700 jobs since January 2014, a 3.4 percent growth rate. Private sector jobs accounted for 90.8 percent of year-over-year growth.

While most service-providing industries took a typical seasonal hit, goods-producing industries added 1,400 jobs from December to January. More importantly, goods-producers added 5,200 jobs from the prior year, a 3.3 percent growth rate. Construction added 2,200 job since the previous month and 4,200 jobs since the previous year, in large part due to the construction of new buildings. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 1,000 jobs since the previous year, 900 of which came from the region's critical ship and boat building sector.

Innovation sectors continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.6 percent from January 2014 to January 2015, adding 8,300 jobs. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, which represents many cleantech and life science companies, added 2,400 jobs since last January--7.8 percent job growth.

[Growth Chart]

Despite the potential headlines that will surround the rising unemployment rate and declining employment, the region is continuing to experience above average year-over-year growth. The region outperformed the state and nation in employment growth, and experienced a smaller seasonal unemployment decline. Employment continued to grow above three percent annually, a great sign as we move into the new year.

Note: Our Economic Indicators Dashboard along with a brief blog post 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..

February 18, 2015

Recently, EDC released its December Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released December 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 5.2 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 12th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From December 2013 to December 2014, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.3 percentage points, which ranked 9th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by more than 3.3 percent from December 2013 to December 2014, which ranked 3rd.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 9.0 percent, the highest growth rate among major U.S. metros.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 4.1 percent from the previous year, the 3rd highest growth rate.

[Employment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the December 2014 period for all U.S. metro areas. When looking at employment growth, San Diego was among the best in the nation. From December 2013 to December 2014, the region's employment grew by more than 3.3 percent, which ranked 3rd among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 2.3 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. employment growth this year and has been one of the most competitive metros in the nation.

[Unemployment Chart]

At 5.2 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.3 points from this time last year. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points in one month, the 2nd largest drop during that period. That fall brought San Diego's rank to 9th among major U.S. metros and placed it below the U.S. overall rate of 5.4 percent.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's innovation economy is largely driving the region's growth. The region is outpacing 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 9.0 percent since last December, the most out of any metro studied here. This figure was more than double the U.S. average and more than a full point more than 2nd placed Houston, which is a positive sign for the region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

We continued to see more  impressive growth in San Diego's manufacturing sector. 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 December 2013 to December 2014, manufacturing employment grew by 4.1 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment grew at more than twice the rate of the U.S. (1.8 percent), and recorded the 3rd highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. 

We now have data for the full 2014 calendar year, which allows us to analyze non-seasonal annual average growth from calendar year to year. We covered how positive the local numbers were in detail in our most recent Manpower Monthly Employment Report, but it is important to understand San Diego's growth relative to its peers. San Diego's annual average employment growth from 2013 to 2014 ranked 9th, and rather substantially outpaced the U.S. average. Perhaps more importantly, key innovation sectors far outpaced peers and picked up even more in the latter months of the calendar year. PST services had the 2nd highest annual average growth from 2013 to 2014 at 5.7 percent, while manufacturing had the 8th highest annual average growth rate. Both key sectors far outpaced the national average. San Diego appears to be on solid economic footing heading into 2015.

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with January 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, March 6thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research. Edit: Date was previously listed incorrectly as February 20th, 2015.

January 23, 2015

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"San Diego’s economic potential was really on display in 2014. We saw our traded sectors really drive huge employment gains throughout the year, providing many good-paying jobs to the previously unemployed."
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 December 2014 period. As expected, San Diego County rounded out the year with more outstanding job growth. Note that December data allows us to look at annual averages, which is simply the average of all twelve months of data in a calendar year. This allows us to make statements about total job growth from one calendar year to another, without specifying a certain month. This report will look mostly at changes from December 2013 to December 2014, as it does every month, but will also discuss annual averages where relevant.

Unemployment rate will likely dominate much of the story this month, since the region experienced such a dramatic decline and finally fell back below the U.S. average. San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in December, 0.6 points lower than November. The unemployment rate in the region was 1.5 points below California’s 6.7 percent rate and now 0.2 points below the U.S. average of 5.4 percent.

[Total Chart]

While a declining unemployment rate is certainly a positive sign, the rate fell in large part because of an above average drop in the labor force. Declines in the labor force are often explained by temporary seasonal workers, retirees and students exiting the labor force. However, 16,100 less in the labor force is above average even for the November-December. This could in part be explained by the sectors where the region experienced seasonal job loss, like tourism-related sectors, construction and public education. It could also be due to a correction, since the labor force grew faster than usual in October and November. Regardless, the number is high but not too negative, since there are still 28,100 more participants than December 2013 and 19,400 less unemployed—all amid high job growth.

San Diego County employers added only 600 jobs from November to December, but a total of 44,500 jobs since December 2013. This equals a job growth rate of 3.3 percent, which eclipsed the U.S. total employment growth rate over the same period.

[Unemployment Chart]

As noted in previous releases, most economists projected the region’s annual average employment to grow by roughly 2.0 to 2.5 percent from 2013 to 2014, or approximately 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. Average annual 2014 figures exceeded those estimates and grew by 2.6 percent or 34,025 jobs, with accelerated growth coming in the later months of the year—a good sign as we head into 2015.

Job growth in December continued to be fueled by our private sector. San Diego County private businesses added 1,200 jobs in December and 42,000 since December 2013. When looking at annual averages, we see that the private sector added 31,867 jobs from 2013 to 2014, a 2.9 percent growth rate. Private sector jobs accounted for 93.7 percent of average annual growth from 2013 to 2014.

[PST Chart]

Construction and manufacturing industries experienced outstanding job growth in 2014. From December 2013 to December 2014, the construction industry added 2,400 jobs—a 3.7 percent growth rate. Over that same period, manufacturers added 3,900 jobs and grew by 4.1 percent. When looking at annual averages, construction was the highest growth industry and grew by 8.6 percent from 2013 to 2014. Growth in the industry slowed later in the year, but remained well-above overall employment growth.

Innovation sectors continued to show high job growth. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 9.0 percent from December 2013 to December 2014. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, which represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 5.2 percent since last December. Both were among the highest growing industries in annual average figures as well.

[Growth Chart]

With December data in, we now know that 2014 was truly an outstanding year for job growth in the region. San Diego’s key traded industries led the way and the region outpaced what many anticipated at the outset of the year. When looking ahead to 2015, we see many positive signs. Year-over-year employment growth increased as the year progressed, with figures exceeding the annual average in the later months. This trend held among our key traded sectors as well, particularly in PST services and manufacturing—sectors that generally pay above average wages. We foresee many of the same possible obstacles in 2015, such as looming federal budget sequestration and rising interest rates. Regardless, San Diego enters the year on solid footing.

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.

January 2, 2015

Recently, EDC released its Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released November 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 5.8 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 16th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From November 2013 to November 2014, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.2 percentage points, which ranked 8th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by more than 3.2 percent from November 2013 to November 2014, which ranked 6th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 6.7 percent, the 4th highest growth rate.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew more than 3.7 percent from the previous year, the 3rd highest growth rate.

[Employment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the November 2014 period for all U.S. metro areas. When looking at employment growth, San Diego was one of the best in the nation. From November 2013 to November 2014, the region's employment grew by more than 3.2 percent, which ranked 6th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate remained at only 2 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. employment growth this year.

[Unemployment Chart]

At 5.8 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate remained the same as it was in October, but fell by 1.2 points from this time last year. San Diego's rate ranked 16th among major U.S. metros and remained above the U.S. overall rate of 5.5 percent. However, San Diego's rate fell faster than most metros. San Diego's percentage point change from November 2013 to November 2014 ranked 8th among major U.S. metros. While the unemployment rate in San Diego was higher than some of the region's key peer metros, it still fared better than other California metros like Los Angeles and Riverside, and fell roughly in the middle of the 25 most populous U.S. metros.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's overall growth is very positive, and we continued to see even more explosive growth in one of the region's most important sectors. Professional, scientific and technical services (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. While we saw high growth in in the October report (5.0 percent), employment in the region's PST sector grew by 6.7 percent since last November. San Diego ranked 4th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros in this measure, and far outpaced U.S. average growth, which is a positive sign for the region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

We continued to see even more  impressive growth in San Diego's manufacturing sector. 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 November 2013 to November 2014, manufacturing employment grew by 3.7 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment grew at more than twice the rate of the U.S. (1.5 percent), and recorded the 3rd highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. 

Last month, we speculated that November would be a good month for San Diego given that the BLS had already reported such strong national figures. We covered how good the local numbers were in detail in our most recent Manpower Monthly Employment Report, but it is important to understand San Diego's growth relative to its peers. San Diego continues to fare better than most in employment growth, particularly in key innovation sectors. In two weeks, we will know San Diego's December figures and wrap up 2014. Barring a very unexpected poor report, San Diego will likely finish the year much better than even the most optimistic expectations, and likely better than the majority of peer metros.

Thank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.