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San Diego

January 22, 2016

Phil Blair

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“San Diego’s labor market experienced a very positive year in 2015, despite a slower than usual December. The region added tens of thousands of jobs since the previous year, primarily in high-wage and productive industries. This drove thousands of people back to the labor force and resulted in 20,000 fewer unemployed.”
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 December 2015 period. This month’s data allows for a complete picture for year 2015, and shows that San Diego’s economy grew at an accelerated pace in 2015 compared to recent years.

The unemployment rate closed the year at 4.7 percent in December, the lowest since June 2007. The rate is down 0.1 points from the previous month and 0.8 points from the previous year. The San Diego rate remained much lower than the statewide unemployment rate of 5.8 percent. When averaged over the entire year, the unemployment rate closed at 5.0 percent for 2015, down substantially from the 2014 average of 6.4 percent. The 2015 annual average is the lowest since the recession. Meanwhile, the annual average labor force was up 17,700 from 2014, while unemployment claims were down 20,300, which indicates a healthy rate drop.

Unemployment Rate

The region’s year-over-year employment for December grew below the 2015 average. San Diego’s total non-farm employment grew by 37,500 jobs from December 2014 to December 2015—2.7 percent growth. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 1.9 percent national rate. In total, the San Diego region averaged 3.1 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014. This was the highest annual percent growth rate since 2000, as the region added 41,400, the most jobs added since 1999.

The private sector drove employment growth in 2015, as private employment accounted for 91.7 percent of all employment growth over the year. The total private sector grew by 3.4 percent on average in 2015, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.1 percent.

Total Nonfarm Employment

Private growth was driven largely by service providers, but goods producers experienced a particularly strong year. Manufacturers and construction companies drove 15.9 percent of private job growth in 2015, and finished the year strong. The two industries added a combined 6,000 jobs in 2015, the most since 2004. The manufacturing industry in particular added the most jobs and experienced the highest annual percent growth rate since 1998. The boom in the construction market is likely a response to demand pressures in the commercial and residential real estate markets, as quality space is becoming increasingly scarce, according to CBRE MarketView reports. The growth in manufacturing and wholesale trade are putting pressure on the industrial market in particular, as the industrial vacancy rate in Q4 2015 was at the lowest ever recorded.

YoY

Professional, scientific, and technical (PST) services, which is strongly associated with the region’s innovation economy, grew by 6.6 percent in 2015, which was the highest growth rate among major industries in the region (tied with construction). The 2015 growth rate was the highest posted since 2005 in the industry. PST services accounted for more than one fifth of all private annual job growth in San Diego. Comparatively, the national PST sector grew by only 3.6 percent in 2015. Scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 5.2 percent.

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 7,000 jobs and accounted for roughly one fifth of the region’s private job growth in 2015. Tourism experienced another seasonal hit in December, but the annual average was strong. The industry added 6,500 jobs in 2015, a 3.7 percent growth rate. Growth slowed in the latter half of the year, particularly in food service and drinking places, which was driving higher growth earlier in 2015.

Contributions

With a full year of 2015 data on the books, it was a very positive year for San Diego’s economy. The national economy showed tepid growth throughout the year, while San Diego consistently looked much stronger than the country as a whole. Key industries like manufacturing, construction, health care, and PST services had impressive, and by some measures, record years. While concerns around decreases in federal spending for science and defense will likely thwart some expectations for 2016, other factors like the Department of Defense’s shifting focus toward cybersecurity and national trends toward manufacturing re-shoring could prove promising for San Diego. Given these trends, future outcomes remain largely uncertain, but San Diego’s economy appears well positioned for growth through 2016.

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.

This report was performed with assistance from the CBRE research team in San Diego. 

January 14, 2016

Talent is the cornerstone of today’s global economy. It drives corporate location decisions, encourages innovative urban planning and inspires entrepreneurship. In essence, talent is the key to economic growth. If regions – such as San Diego – want to get ahead, they must have the workforce to compete.

Today, San Diego Regional EDC released “Talent: Where San Diego Stands,” a comprehensive study that contextualizes San Diego’s standing in talent growth and retention with regard to highly-skilled engineering, science and tech talent in nine peer metros including Austin, Denver and San Francisco. By analyzing key factors for firms and site selectors and comparing key characteristics that attract talent, San Diego can better understand how to maintain its competitive edge.

 

Among peer metros, San Diego ranks…
2nd – percent growth of degree-holding millennials  (age 25-34)
1st – concentration of scientific R&D firms and employment
3rd– wages in sciences and engineering jobs
1st – lowest average commute times
2nd – average annual pay for R&D employees at $176,000
3rd – total number of scientific R&D firms

 

When looking for a place to start or continue a career, talent is demanding change. Infrastructure and creative office design are becoming critical requirements. Innovative workspaces, lifestyle, competitive wages and economic opportunity matter. 

 

 

Thank you to our study sponsors iboss Cybersecurity and Kilroy Realty Corp. with additional support provided by CBRE. 

December 18, 2015

Phil Blair

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“When an influx of people join the labor force and begin seeking employment, you generally see a lag before they find jobs. In October, a substantial amount of people joined the labor force, but reported as unemployed. In November, it appears as though those people found jobs, as we saw no change in the labor force, but a significant reduction 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 November 2015 period. This month’s data indicates that San Diego is showing strong signs of growth in the local economy as we near the end of 2015.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in November, down 0.2 points from the previous month. In October, the region experienced a large jump in the labor force without a large jump in employment, which caused the unemployment rate to rise back to 5.0 percent. The labor force stayed virtually the same in November, but higher employment and lower unemployment brought the rate back down to 4.8 percent. The number of unemployed fell by 2,000 from October to November, indicating that the fall in unemployment was healthy and not due to a reduction in the labor force.

The rate is now 1.2 points lower than the previous year and on par with the national unemployment rate at 4.8. The region remains much lower than the statewide unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. The unemployment rate is now expected to end the year in the mid-four percent range in December, resulting in an annual average of about 5.0 percent for 2015, down substantially from the 2014 average of 6.4 percent.

Unemployment Rate

The region’s overall year-over-year employment grew, but below the 2015 average of 3.1 percent. San Diego’s total non-farm employment grew by 37,800 jobs from November 2014 to November 2015—2.7 percent growth. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 1.9 percent national rate. The San Diego region is still expected to average 3.1 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014.

Year-over-year private sector growth continued to drive the economy, as private employment drove 92.1 percent of all employment growth. The total private sector grew by 3.1 percent, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.2 percent. Private growth was driven largely by service providers, but goods producers experienced a particularly strong month. Goods producers like manufacturers and construction companies drove 24.1 percent of annual private job growth. This was due to both strong growth in those industries and uncharacteristically weak growth in service providing industries like professional and business services and trade.

Total Nonfarm Employment

From November 2014 to November 2015, the manufacturing industry added 2,400 jobs—a 2.5 percent growth rate. The ship and boat building industry continued to grow at an outstanding rate of 10.3 percent. Meanwhile, the construction industry added 6,000 jobs and grew by 9.4 percent. Continued growth in goods producing industries remains a positive sign for the region, as these jobs tend to be accessible and pay above the median wage for the region.

Professional, Scientific, and Technical (PST) services, which is strongly associated with the region’s innovation economy, grew by 5.5 percent and was one of the highest growth industries in the region. PST services accounted for roughly one fifth of all private annual job growth in San Diego. The national PST sector grew by only 3.6 percent. Scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew at a relatively low 3.3 percent compared to previous months.

YoY

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 8,600 jobs and accounted for roughly one quarter of the region’s private job growth. Tourism experienced a major seasonal hit last month, but rebounded slightly in November. The industry added 1,100 jobs from the previous month and 3,700 overall since last November. The annual growth rate in the industry has slowed in the latter half of the year, but still growing, particularly in food service and drinking places.

November’s employment numbers included more positive signs for the region’s economy, particularly when compared to the year before. The region has 13,200 more people in the labor force, 17,000 fewer unemployed, and has added more than 37,000 jobs. The growth rates have slowed in recent months, which may be a reflection of slowing national trends, an indication of mounting issues in the economy, or a brief blip in an otherwise outstanding year. Annual growth rates have varied throughout the year, but have consistently remained above state and national trends, with growth concentrated in high-tech and high-wage sectors. With one month of data remaining in 2015, all signs point to a solid overall year for the region’s economy.

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.

 

November 23, 2015

This week, EDC talked with Jay Scovie, director of Corporate Communications and Education at Kyocera International, Inc. The company – with its North American headquarters in San Diego – manufactures high-tech products for use by semiconductor companies, among others. In just under five decades, the company’s North American operations have expanded to more than 4,000 employees dedicated to the development of innovative products.

1) Please tell us what your company does.

Kyocera was founded in Japan in 1959 — our name comes from “Kyoto” and “Ceramic.”  We serve many diverse high-tech markets, including office document equipment, telecom equipment, solar energy, and engineered components, which are used in electronic, medical, industrial and automotive applications. Much of our work is tied to the semiconductor industry. In 1971, we became the first Japanese company with manufacturing operations in the State of California. We have manufactured ceramic semiconductor packages in San Diego for 44 years. Our telecom equipment business came to the U.S. in 2000 when we acquired Qualcomm’s wireless phone business.  And today, many leading institutions in San Diego (and worldwide) generate renewable power using Kyocera’s solar modules, which are based on silicon cells, a type of semiconductor.  It sounds trendy now, but Kyocera started its solar business in 1975, making us one of the early solar pioneers.

2) What are some advantages to being located/doing business in San Diego?

My short list would begin with “best climate on Earth,” which makes San Diego ideal for events and tourism. I’ve never lived in another city where you could enjoy pristine beaches, desert, mountains and snow, all in the same day.  From a business standpoint, San Diego has an entrepreneurial culture, globally-renowned universities, Pacific Rim gateway status, and of course, U.S./Mexico manufacturing and trade. We are a global hub for wireless and biotech, with legendary research institutes like Salk, Scripps, Venter, Sanford Burnham Prebys, and yes, the Zoo and SeaWorld. We have unique technology incubators like Biocom and Connect. These all make San Diego “the place” for great minds to meet, with unique meeting opportunities — like the Kyoto Prize Symposium.  Certainly, a lot of people moved to San Diego for the weather. That’s no surprise, but the weather is really just a bonus.

 3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation. Pick another San Diego company that is at the top of its game.

Can you really pick one favorite?  Ballast Point would have to merge with Rubio’s.  Nobody has a crystal ball, but if you ask this question in a year I think we’ll all be saying it’s Qualcomm — again. They are constantly reinventing, and their current restructuring is going to be pivotal. It’s easy to envision Qualcomm emerging leaner, more focused, and ready to establish new paradigms for the global communications industry — again.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?

Globalization will continue, and companies with a global network for R&D, supply, manufacturing and marketing will fare best.  That should be good for Kyocera. The forces shaping our global economy generally align to create new markets for Kyocera’s core products and technologies. Our founder, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, has always considered it impractical to make long-term business plans – even five-year plans – due to the pace of change in technology. Instead, we focus on accumulating small results daily, making today better than tomorrow, and tomorrow better than today. We are very fortunate that our advanced materials have such broad application in the fields of electronics and industry, in many of the most innovative new components, devices and equipment. This gives us potential to improve the lives of millions of people in the areas of information processing, communications, renewable energy, medical technologies, and automotive components. What do I anticipate in five years?  Kyocera will still be thriving. The company will still have North American headquarters in San Diego. And I expect to be here, too, although if it’s lunchtime… I may be at Rubio’s.

Kyocera Corporate Profile from CC&E on Vimeo.

 

November 20, 2015

Phil Blair

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“San Diego’s economy is continuing to grow, despite the forthcoming headlines about the seasonal rise in the unemployment rate. Most importantly, the unemployment rate is a full percentage point lower than it was a year ago, our labor force numbers are showing signs of confidence, and the region has added more than 40,000 jobs since last October.”
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 October 2015 period. This month’s data shows that after another a weak U.S. jobs report released earlier this month, San Diego showed some strong signs of growth, despite a rising unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in October, up 0.4 points from September. The rate is still 1.0 points lower than the previous year, but now exceeds the U.S. rate of 4.8 percent. The California average rate also rose to 5.7, and San Diego remained lower than the state average.

San Diego’s rate rose both due to a small seasonal spike in persons who identified as unemployed, as well as a rise in the labor force. Employment also grew steadily over that period, but was offset by those who joined the labor force not finding jobs immediately. Oftentimes, new job seekers take several months to find employment. If larger numbers are truly joining the labor force due to confidence in the labor market, this could potentially explain the rise in unemployment in spite of solid job growth. This was compounded by the tourism industry experiencing a larger than normal seasonal decline, though large October declines are typical for the industry.

Unemployment Rate

Despite this small seasonal up-tick in the unemployment rate, the non-seasonal figures remained positive. There are still 15,700 fewer unemployed than there were a year ago—a 16.7 percent decline. Meanwhile, the labor force is up by 16,600, which may indicate growing signs of confidence in the labor market.

The region’s economy failed to reach the 3.0 percent annual growth figure for the fourth time in 2015, but still remained very close at 2.9 percent. San Diego’s total nonfarm employment grew by 40,200 jobs from October 2014 to October 2015. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 1.9 percent national rate. The San Diego region is still expected to average 3.1 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014.

Total Nonfarm Employment

Year-over-year private sector growth continued to drive the economy, as private employment drove 91.3 percent of all employment growth. The total private sector grew by 3.2 percent, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.2 percent.

Professional, Scientific, and Technical (PST) services, which is strongly associated with the region’s innovation economy, grew by 7.0 percent and was one of the highest growth industries in the region. PST services accounted for more than one quarter of all private annual job growth in San Diego. The national PST sector grew by only 3.6 percent. Scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, showed solid growth at 4.6 percent.

Growth in goods-producing industries continued to be a bright spot in October, accounting for 13.6 percent of all private job growth. From October 2014 to October 2015, the manufacturing industry added 1,600 jobs. The ship and boat building industry continued to grow at an outstanding rate of 11.9 percent. Meanwhile, the construction industry added 3,500 jobs and grew by 5.3 percent. While the growth in these sectors is a bit slower than recent months, they are still overall exceeding the regional and national averages, and remain key drivers in the region’s economy.

YoY

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 8,900 jobs and accounted for 24.3 percent of the region’s private job growth. While tourism experienced a major seasonal hit, losing 4,300 jobs from last month, the industry added 5,200 jobs overall since last October. The annual growth number is slower than recent months, but the industry still contributed to more than 14 percent of the region’s annual job growth.

While the October jobs numbers for San Diego may not be as stellar as we’ve seen in recent months, the growth figures are still very positive. The region is far outpacing the state and national averages in terms of employment growth. More importantly, when we look at the region’s key economic drivers, the growth figures are outstanding. High wage industries like PST services, healthcare, and construction are driving employment growth as we enter the final quarter of 2015.

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.

 

November 3, 2015

Recently, EDC released its September Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released September 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 4.6 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 9th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From September 2014 to September 2015, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -1.5 percentage points, which ranked 4th.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by 3.5 percent from September 2014 to September 2015, which ranked 2nd.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 7.4 percentwhich ranked 2nd.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 2.6 percent from the previous year, the 4th highest growth rate.

[Unmployment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the September 2015 period for all U.S. metro areas. At 4.6 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.5 points from this time last year. This was the 4th largest drop in the nation, among the 25 most populous U.S. metros, and the three metros with larger drops have the three highest unemployment rates. That fall put San Diego's rank at 9th among major U.S. metros and it remained below the U.S. overall rate of 4.9 percent.  

[Employment Chart]

When looking at employment growth, San Diego outpaced most of the nation. From September 2014 to September 2015, the region's employment grew by 3.5 percent, which ranked 2nd among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 1.9 percent. Growth has slowed substantially across the U.S. in the past few months, but San Diego has consistently outpaced the national employment growth this year and has been among the top competitive metros in the nation.

[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 except San Francisco. 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 7.4 percent since last September, the 2nd most out of any metro shown here. This figure was double the U.S. average and far ahead of other top tech markets like Seattle, Boston, and New York, which is a positive sign for the state and region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

San Diego's manufacturing sector also led most of the nation. 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 September 2014 to September 2015, manufacturing employment grew by 2.6 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment growth was more than triple the U.S. rate of 0.7 percent. The region recorded the 4th highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. Only Detroit, Riverside, and Portland showed stronger growth than San Diego.

So while many key peer metros and the nation as a whole show signs of slower growth, San Diego's economy continues to buck that trend. More importantly, critical sectors like PST and manufacturing are not only showing signs of growth, they're outpacing nearly all of the region's key peers.

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with October 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, November 20thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.

October 16, 2015

Phil Blair

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“The September employment report was even better than expected, as the regional economy looks to be picking up speed toward the end of 2015. We saw a disappointing national jobs report released earlier this month, but it was just the opposite in San Diego, with outstanding job growth driven by our construction, manufacturing, and technology sectors.”
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 September 2015 period. This month’s data shows that after another weak U.S. jobs report released earlier this month, San Diego showed more strong signs of growth led by important traded sectors and sectors with high-wages.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in September, which is the lowest it has been since June 2007. The rate is 1.5 points lower than the previous year and 0.5 points lower than the previous month. The California and U.S. average rates also fell to 5.5 and 4.9 percent, respectively, but San Diego remained lower than the state and national averages.

San Diego’s rate fell both due to a large drop in persons who identified as unemployed, as well as a small seasonal drop in the labor forcesimilar to the trend from July to August, but more dramatic. More importantly though, the labor force is up by 22,300 people from September 2014 and unemployment is down 21,900 people over that same period—all amid solid and increasing employment growth.

Unemployment Rate

Just like last month, we should note that non-seasonally adjusted employment data for the summer-to-fall months is almost always filled with wild swings in the labor force, and in turn, the unemployment rate will experience big swings. This is largely due to thousands of high school and college students entering the labor force in May and June, then leaving again in August and September as they return to school. Similarly, education workers who do not work in the summer are not counted in the labor force during those months, and we see a 4,000-5,000 job spike in government employment once they return in September. Therefore, summer swings from month-to-month should be taken with a grain of salt, while the focus should instead be on how the labor force and unemployment rate are performing differently from the year prior. In this case, we again saw strong annual figures, indicating a healthy unemployment rate.

On that note, the region’s economy continued to steadily grow well-above three percent, despite another disappointing national report. San Diego’s total nonfarm employment grew by 3.5 percent year-over-year, adding 46,900 jobs from September 2014 to September 2015. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 2.1 percent national rate. The San Diego region is still expected to average 3.1 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014.

Total Nonfarm Employment

Year-over-year private sector growth continues to be outstanding, as private employment drove 91.5 percent of all employment growth. The total private sector grew by 3.8 percent, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.4 percent. More than three-quarters of all year-over-year private job growth in San Diego came from four key sectors: construction, tourism, healthcare, and professional, scientific and technical services (PST).

PST services, which is strongly associated with the region's innovation economy, grew by 7.4 percent and was one of the highest growth industries in the region.

Growth in goods-producing industries picked back up in September, accounting for 17.5 percent of all private job growth. From September 2014 to September 2015, the manufacturing industry added 2,500 jobs and grew by 2.6 percent, which is higher than recent months. The ship and boat building industry continued to grow at an outstanding rate. Meanwhile, the construction industry added 5,000 jobs and grew by 7.7 percent. This is usually a period when goods-producers experience seasonal August to September declines, but in this month's report, we actually saw seasonal growth in goods-producing industriesa good sign for the economy.

YoY

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 7,800 jobs and accounted for approximately 18.2 percent of the region’s private job growth. After signs of slowing last month, tourism industry growth picked back up, adding 10,100 jobs and accounting for 23.5 percent of the region’s growth. Tourism growth was driven largely by bars and restaurants, which added 8,200 jobs since last September.

Given another sluggish national jobs report, the September employment report again defied national trends and showed very strong signs of a healthy economy. Employment growth picked up and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in more than seven years. Moreover, 21,900 fewer San Diegans are unemployed than they were in September of 2014 and 22,300 more have entered the labor force. Important goods-producing sectors like manufacturing and construction are growing at high and steady rates, which is a great sign for the region's economy. As we enter the final quarter of 2015, the region appears to be in great shape to close the year.

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.

 

September 18, 2015

Phil Blair

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“San Diego continues to rise above the uncertainties facing many regions around the country. Earlier this month, we saw a weak national jobs report, but San Diego is bucking the trend and exceeding growth expectations.
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 August 2015 period. This month’s data shows that despite a weak August U.S. jobs report released earlier this month, San Diego continued to show signs of a strong economy driven by its key sectors.

The unemployment rate fell back to 5.1 percent in August. The rate is 1.5 points lower than the previous year and 0.3 points lower than the previous month. The California and U.S. average rates also fell to 6.1 and 5.2 percent, respectively, but San Diego remained lower than the state and national averages.

San Diego’s rate fell both due to a drop in persons who identified as unemployed, as well as a small seasonal drop in the labor force. More importantly though, the labor force is up by 25,900 people from August 2014 and unemployment is down 21,500 people over that same period—all amid solid and steady employment growth.

Unemployment Rate

We should note that non-seasonally adjusted employment data for the summer months is almost always filled with wild swings in the labor force and in turn the unemployment rate. This is largely due to thousands high school and college students entering the labor force in May and June, then leaving again in August and September as they return to school. Therefore, summer swings from month-to-month should be taken with a grain of salt, while the focus should instead be on how the labor force is performing differently from the year prior.

On that note, the region’s economy continued to steadily grow above three percent, which we have not seen sustained since 2012. San Diego’s total nonfarm employment grew by 3.1 percent year-over-year, adding 42,400 jobs from August 2014 to August 2015. We have seen three percent growth or greater every month in 2015, other than April where we saw 2.9 percent growth. San Diego’s growth rate was again much higher than the 2.1 percent national rate. The San Diego region is now expected to average 3.1 percent annual growth in 2015, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2014.

Total Nonfarm Employment

Year-over-year private sector growth has also been outstanding and private employment drove 91.5 percent of all employment growth. The total private sector grew by 3.4 percent, out-pacing the private U.S. growth rate of 2.3 percent. Roughly two-thirds of all year-over-year private job growth in San Diego came from four key sectors: construction, tourism, healthcare, and professional, scientific and technical services (PST).

Growth in goods-producing industries slowed, but still showed growth, accounting for 13.1 percent of all private job growth. From August 2014 to August 2015, the manufacturing industry added 1,900 jobs and grew by 2.0 percent, a bit slower than recent months. The ship and boat building industry continued to grow at an outstanding rate. Meanwhile, the construction industry added 3,300 jobs and grew by 5.0 percent.

YoY

Other key drivers for growth included the region’s healthcare sector, which added 6,900 jobs and accounted for approximately 17.8 percent of the region’s private job growth. The tourism industry had a slower month than usual, but still added 5,600 jobs and accounted for 14.4 percent of the region’s growth. Employment services or staffing in the region grew by 4.0 percent and has been steadily growing all year, a good sign for job growth. All of these industries grew faster than the overall private economy.

Given a sluggish national jobs report and uncertainty around global events and interest rates, the August employment report showed good signs for San Diego’s economy. Employment growth remained above three percent and the unemployment rate is creeping back toward five percent or lower. Moreover, 21,500 less San Diegans are unemployed than they were in August of 2014 and 25,900 more have entered the labor force. Important sectors like PST services and construction drove most of the region’s employment growth. San Diego’s economy has shown resiliency during times of national uncertainty, due largely to its concentration in innovative sectors. We expect that trend to continue through the rest of 2015.

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 21, 2015

Phil Blair

Download a printable version

“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 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.