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The Big Picture San Diego Blog

March 2015

March 31, 2015

It was the early 1950s, and mudflats lined Mission Bay. WWII was over, and the tourism industry was beginning to boom. Where everyone else saw dirt and sand, the Evans family saw an opportunity. In 1953, Evans Hotels was born with the opening of the Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay. Today, the company employs more than 1,000 people at its three award-winning properties: the Catamaran, The Lodge at Torrey Pines and the Bahia Resort Hotel.

We recently sat down with David Cherashore, executive board member at Evans Hotels, to learn more about the company's evolution and its future plans in the region.

1)      Tell us about Evans Hotels.
Recognizing a need for high quality hospitality in the San Diego area, in 1953, Evans Hotels was born with the opening of the Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay. Today, we are three generations in the making as a family in the San Diego area, both as residents and as part of the business community. We pride ourselves in creating a strong, stable working environment for employees. We have 80 employees that have been with our company for more than 20 years. We are an integral part of this city, and the fact that we have employees choosing to make Evans Hotels their career, not just their job, speaks volumes about what we do for employees, customers, and San Diego.  

2)      What are some advantages to being located  in San Diego?
When people think of San Diego, they think about the weather. This is a huge advantage to the hotel industry, but sometimes, what goes unrecognized is the range of activities that are available to visitors. We have multi-generational families staying with us – children, parents and grandparents – and they often remark on how surprised they are on the number of activities available to them. There is the Zoo and SeaWorld for children; adults have nightspots, fine dining, museums and parks. Our region is truly different from other tourist destinations.  San Diego has a soul, a heart. The lifestyle, the weather, the fact is that San Diegans are happy—that’s one thing visitors notice immediately.  Our staff reflects that; we are friendlier, warmer,  and more hospitable. It’s just San Diego!

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.
 Look at your cell phone- you probably have Qualcomm to thank for it. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor is used in more than one billion devices worldwide. That’s innovation and a global trend by any definition. We also have companies like Mapp Biopharmaceutical which has collaborated in the creation of ZMapp, an experimental new therapy used to treat Ebola patients. Large and small, San Diego companies are addressing global problems.

4)      What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego? 
The future of San Diego and Evans Hotels are interlocked.  In the 80s, people avoided downtown at night, but look at the Gaslamp District today: fine dining, dynamic living options, popular nightclubs, and trendy shops.  This didn’t happen overnight. It shows San Diego is consistently moving in the right direction.  Before 1953, there was nothing on this bay; now, we have two successful hotels there.  This story repeats itself all over San Diego.  At the moment, San Diego has a vibrant economy with an abundance of  innovative companies which are attracting talented individuals with equally innovative dreams and ideas.  This is creating excitement in our city and new opportunities for everyone.  Evans Hotels is part of that.  We want to grow, and we have several projects in development and we are depending on this influx of talent to materialize these plans.  Everything is coming together.

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March 26, 2015


Canada: one of San Diego’s largest export markets and one of San Diego’s top 10 sources of foreign investment.

Canada: one of four international destinations of which our international airport has direct flights.

When your region has a full-time consul corps representing their country, you know your region must have strong trade connections. This is apparent even more so when you look at one of the consulates which have a full-time presence here: Canada.

The Canadian Consulate in San Diego, spearheaded by Lisa Stockley, represents one of San Diego’s largest trading and investment partners. Having a strong partnership with the consulate ensures that businesses in the region have access to critical support for their endeavors of expanasion into Canada. Additionally, it provides San Diego the visibility so Canadian businesses can learn about the regional economy and expand here.

Canada is the 6th largest source of foreign employment in San Diego. From wireless communications with Blackberry, to computer equipment manufacturing with Sierra Wireless, and gaming accessories manufacturing with Mad Catz, Canadian businesses encompass many aspects of San Diego’s economy. The diversity of Canadian companies doesn’t just span industries, it also encompasses companies at all stages; Not only do larger companies locate to San Diego, but startups in Canada have begun to realize the potential for growth. Koriist, a software developer for military communications, is currently housed in the downtown startup incubator EvoNexus.

Not only do smart companies from Canada want to trade with San Diego, but so do the people. According to a report published by Beacon Economics, more than 13,500 of the residents in San Diego County were born in Canada, making them the 7th highest immigrant population in the region. These residents are highly-skilled workers, with more than 42 percent of these them holding a Bachelor’s degree, compared to about 35 percent of the region as a whole. Not only are these residents smart, but they work primarily in some of the region’s most innovative companies. The sectors with the highest concentration of workers for Canadian-born residents are healthcare and the professional, scientific, and technical industry – key sectors which represent the innovation economy.

Having a consulate or any foreign office in San Diego representing their diverse and important workforces and business communities strengthens our economic bonds with our foreign partners. Luckily, the Go Global San Diego initiative aims to establish two additional foreign offices in San Diego as part of its main goal to maximize the region’s economic competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement.

To gain more information about Go Global San Diego go to and learn about the trade and investment initiative, MetroConnect, and many other important tools to help businesses go global. 

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March 25, 2015

With California Aerospace week underway in Sacramento, we wanted to take a look at how San Diego contributes to this thriving cluster. The industry counts itself among the  “aerospace, navigation and maritime technologies cluster,” which directly employs 35,000 in the region at an average annual wage of nearly $84,000. In an effort to bolster job creation in the industry, LAEDC and San Diego Regional EDC were in Sacramento earlier this week to meet the new chairs of the Assembly and Senate select committees on aerospace.

Aerospace has a long history in San Diego, dating back to the early 1900s when Ryan Airlines built the Spirit of St. Louis and Reuben Fleet brought Consolidated Aircraft Corporation to Lindbergh Field. Since then, San Diego’s aerospace cluster has been an integral part of the region’s innovation and defense economies.

Here are a few things you may not have known about the region’s thriving aerospace industry:

  1. They're not all "manned."
    Illustrating some of the dynamic uses for unmanned system.
    Illustrating some of the dynamic uses of unmanned systems. Clockwise from top left: Drone used for newspaper delivery (The Atlantic), prepping a wildfire- fighting drone for launch (The New York Times), simulation of a lifeguard/lifesaving drone (AUVSI), agricultural drone used for pest control.(
    Pilot-less aircraft, or unmanned air systems/drones, are revolutionizing the world. From the drone hobbyist to military contractors, San Diego’s diverse terrain, military expertise, and talented workforce have put us at the epicenter of drone manufacturing.

    Like many great innovations (e.g.  the internet), drone technology originated in the military, but has broad applications. From fighting wildfires to crop dusting and delivering crucial medications to people in disaster-inflicted areas, drones are another example of how San Diego works to solve some of the world’s hardest problems.

    A 2013 study by AUVSI found UAS integration in California would create 18,161 jobs throughout the state within a decade of airspace incorporation.

  2. The largest aerospace manufacturer in the state has a presence here.
    Nat Geo host Andrew Evans explores Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk during filming of the documentary
    Nat Geo documentary host Andrew Evans explores Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk during filming of the documentary.
    Defense Innovator Northrop Grumman – the Golden State’s largest defense company -  has 3,087 employees in San Diego, according to the SDBJ. Recognizing the region’s strengths in UAS technology, the company consolidated its Unmanned Center of Excellence to its Rancho Bernardo location in 2013.

    Northrop Grumman is featured in the upcoming Nat Geo “Smart Cities” documentary about San Diego (stay tuned for air dates).
  3. Baja California contributes to the region’s aerospace dominance.
    Calibaja Manufacturing
    A manufacturing facility in Baja California.
    As Mayor Faulconer likes to say regarding the San Diego – Tijuana relationship, “We’re two cities, but we’re one Mega-region.” This is particularly true when you look at the aerospace sector. Despite a recent decline, Baja California’s stronghold in aerospace manufacturing still reigns supreme, boasting more jobs in that sector than any other Mexican state.
  4. We’re getting ready to release the largest economic impact study about the aerospace industry the region has ever seen.
    Members from San Diego Regional EDC and LAEDC gather with legislaters in Sacremento to show support for the state's aerospace industry
    San Diego Regional EDC and LAEDC gather with legislators in Sacramento to show support for the state's aerospace industry.
    San Diego Regional EDC is working collaboratively with LAEDC to launch an aerospace economic impact study that will quantify the nine counties that make up Southern California. The study will help articulate how Southern California’s aerospace industry competes on a global level.

March 24, 2015

CSUSM 25th Anniversary Logo

This year, Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) celebrates its 25th anniversary. As the only comprehensive public university in North County, they are a major source of talent for San Diego’s dynamic companies. Together with the region’s other universities, they help ensure San Diego’s global competitiveness.

We sat down with Dr. Haynes, president of CSUSM, to hear more about how the university has evolved over the past 25 years and what’s in store for the future.

1) Tell us about CSUSM.
For many years, the University was considered North County’s best-kept secret. Not anymore – the secret is out, Cal State San Marcos is THE university to be at. With 13,000 students and growing, we are nationally considered a large university and we are regionally a high-demand, first-choice institution. CSUSM is the place where dedicated and talented faculty facilitate the success of our students—our region’s future leaders and change-makers. It’s the place where area businesses and organizations partner to foster economic growth and create real-world learning experiences for the sake of stronger communities. And it’s a place with a track record of accomplishments. CSUSM has recently received national recognition for best practices as a model employer, a diverse and military-friendly campus, and a community-engaged institution.

2) Ensuring San Diego has a steady stream of talented university grads is essential to our regional competitiveness strategy. What are some of the advantages to having your university located in San Diego?
CSUSM on collaborations with the business community CSUSM is the only public comprehensive university in North San Diego County and we take that role very seriously. Beginning in 2006, we began establishing guaranteed admission agreements with 10 regional school districts, to ensure that students are prepared for college and supported throughout their entire educational journey.We are the only university in our state with a program of this magnitude – creating a college-bound culture for some 200,000 students from across our region.

We have also placed a particular focus on serving educationally at-risk students. We have the highest per-capita numbers, within the CSU system, of student populations often excluded or overlooked by higher education, including Veterans, former foster youth and Native Americans.For the last two years, 52 percent of our graduating classes were the first in their families to obtain a four-year degree.

We are very proud that not only do the vast majority of our students come from our region, but that after graduation some 85 percent of them remain here, equipped with profession-ready skills, creative talents, global awareness and homegrown commitment to help power the regional economy. Our sister public universities in the San Diego region have important roles, each of us filing a unique niche. While CSUSM serves all types of students, we have a strong focus on underrepresented and diverse student populations and those who stay after graduation to give back to their communities and contribute to the regional economy.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation.   CSUSM is very engaged with many of them. Pick a San Diego-area company that’s at the top of its game.
One dynamic company and CSUSM corporate partner that comes to mind is ViaSat, a communication company located in Carlsbad.

Because it is always looking with an eye toward the future, ViaSat has been an invaluable CSUSM champion, providing support and expertise across campus to develop our students and provide real-world learning opportunities. Just to name a few examples:  They support our on-campus Summer Scholars program, which actively engages undergraduates in hands-on STEM research through a 10-week program; they provide multiple internship opportunities to our undergraduate students; and they sponsor events across campus, such as our recent Super STEM Saturday, a celebration of innovation and science education designed to expose and engage kids of all ages, and their families, to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Several of ViaSat’s senior leaders volunteer their time and expertise on multiple college advisory boards, and ViaSat’s President and COO, Rick Baldridge even offered leadership advice and insight into the company and his career path by speaking at “In the Executive’s Chair” – a business course where students hear and learn from regional business leaders. The company’s leadership and input was also invaluable as we developed our new Cybersecurity Professional Master’s Degree.

4) What do you anticipate for the CSUSM in the next 5 years? What do you anticipate for the San Diego region?
For 25 years, there has been great synergy between the University and our region. We have literally grown up together, coming of age as we have helped create, and were fed and nurtured by, regional businesses, organizations, schools, neighborhoods and cities.  Moving forward over the next five years and beyond, we will continue to drive forward as a place of community engagement, a place for academic excellence and research, and a place for welcoming and stimulating environments supporting the success of the rich diversity of students we serve.

We know that the San Diego region will continue to have workforce needs in multiple areas, including the life sciences, healthcare and information and communication technologies.  To meet these demands we continue to survey key stakeholders in multiple business and nonprofit sectors to learn about their expectations and create innovative degree and certificate programs to fill those needs.  Among these are new or planned programs such as our master’s degree program in public health and health information management; stackable certificates, potentially leading to master’s degrees, in international business, business intelligence, tourism and hospitality; and professional master’s degrees in cybersecurity and biotechnology.  Efforts like these are part of our commitment to ensure that our students graduate career-ready to serve the needs of our region.

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March 20, 2015

Strong Workforce TownhallA businessman, an educator and a politician walk into a room.

There’s no punchline here. In many other regions – that don’t count collaboration as a strength – this may be the beginning of a counterproductive encounter. In San Diego, this is how we find solutions. At the Strong Workforce Town Hall held at Illumina on Wednesday, business people, educators, economic and workforce development professionals, and politicians gathered to address how the region will close the impending skills gap.

California Community Colleges play a vital role in preparing workers for jobs and strengthening the economy. Wednesday’s conversation was part of a series of ‘town hall’ style meetings held throughout the state to help California’s dynamic community college system close the skills gap.

The facts are alarming: by 2020, there will be 6.3 million job openings in the state of California. If we want to remain a center for innovation, we must have the workforce to get us there.

So how do you prepare the 2.1 million students in California for tomorrow’s workforce?

Strong Workforce Townhall


Sunny Cooke, president of Mira Costa College and chair of the State’s Strong Workforce Task Force, said we must rethink the three fundamental ‘R’s:

  1. Relationships: Perhaps the most crucial component, the community colleges must develop stronger relationships with employers.  Rick Urban, COO at Quality Control Manufacturing in Santee, said that his business depends on having, strong, skilled workers. With the help of East County EDC and coordination with community colleges, he was able to develop a pipeline to recruit and train technical talent.

    Up in Oceanside, Genentech seeks to work with the community colleges to find the medical device manufacturing and R&D talent it needs to succeed. "We need an agile and flexible workforce,” said Adria Harris, an HR representative at the company. The good news is lawmakers are already beginning to adapt. A pilot program will give community colleges throughout the state the opportunity to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in select programs next year. Based on workforce needs, Mira Costa College was recently approved to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in bio-manufacturing.
  1. Resources: Financial resources are always going to be an issue. As a state (and region), we must get creative with how we fund these crucial job training programs. It’s not only about identifying new resources, but also figuring out how to redirect resources that make sense for industries – such as maritime and biotech – that have a strong presence in the region.
  1. Re-thinking the Rules: As a state-run agency, bureaucracy will always be a part of the community college system. However, Cooke encouraged administrators and policy makers to think creatively about these regulations.

San Diego’s  – and California’s – leaders must work in earnest to find, develop, and enhance our workforce pipeline. As California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris says, “our global competitiveness depends on it.”

All pictures are courtesy of the San Diego Workforce Partnership

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


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 19, 2015

50th Anniversary LogoThis year, San Diego Regional EDC celebrates our 50th Anniversary. But this is much more than just a milestone. To us, it’s a story about collaboration and how we’ve worked with and through our communities, businesses and partners to grow our economy.

For the next few months, we’ll be going back through the archives to recount some of the economy’s – and EDC’s – most defining moments.

We begin where it all started.

Original City ProclimationIt was the early 1960s, and things weren’t exactly looking up for San Diego’s economy. The aerospace and defense industries were in decline and San Diego was looking to diversify.  At the same time, City of San Diego Mayor Francis “Frank” Curran recognized the need to promote San Diego as a spot for industry and innovation . At his recommendation, an independent committee was formed, which eventually morphed into the EDC we know today. Understanding the importance of the region in the overall economic landscape, since the beginning,  EDC has been focused on county-wide prosperity, working with partners from Chula Vista to El Cajon and Oceanside.

On November 20, 1964, the Economic Development Corporation’s articles of incorporation were officially signed.  A young attorney down the hall from the EDC office– Peter Ellsworth –happened to double as a notary at the time.  As many know, this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy in its own right. After a career as a successful attorney, Pete served as president and CEO of Sharp Health Care before leaving to run the Legler Benbough Foundation and contributing his name and time to countless non-profit boards and other local causes - including, of course, the Regional EDC. Most recently, he lent the Legler Benbough Foundation's support to the Nat Geo documentary about San Diego as a “Smart City.”

We’ve complied a few other headlines and images from the 1960s:

Neil Morgan EDC Announcement

Evening Tribune columnist Neil Morgan on EDC's New Board, November 1965.

Dallas Clark - EDC CEO

EDC's first CEO Dallas Clark, on his vision for EDC.

EDC Give Area Growth Catalyst

Headline for August 1966, as economy begins to rebound.

At the end of the day, this really isn’t about celebrating EDC. It’s about the communities we serve, the economy we help to support and a region we’re proud to call home.

To past board members, companies, community leaders, elected officials and others we’ve worked with, thank you for working alongside us to write the region’s story.

We’ll be celebrating all through 2015, but we’ll be paying homage to our past – as well as celebrating our future – at EDC’s 50th annual dinner event on June 4, 2015, at SeaWorld San Diego.  Until then, join us here online every month as recount our top moments, starting with the decades that have defined us.

Follow along and share your memories at #EDCturns50.

March 17, 2015


Qualcomm. ThermoFisher (formerly Life Technologies).  BD BioSciences  (formerly CareFusion). These are some of San Diego’s most globally-recognized companies. They create products and innovations that are changing the world. But that’s not the only thing they have in common: each of these companies has also worked with DLA Piper – one of San Diego’s most recognized law firms. Although DLA Piper represents companies from a variety of industries, they focus on serving San Diego’s dynamic high tech and life sciences sectors.
This week we spoke with Robert Brownlie, managing partner in DLA Piper San Diego, to learn more about how they interact with some of San Diego’s most prominent companies and are helping to cement the region’s global identity. 
1) Tell us about DLA Piper.
DLA Piper LLP (US) is a global law firm with deep San Diego roots.  In 2005, San Diego’s Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye combined with the US firm Piper Rudnick and the international firm DLA to create DLA Piper.  
Our history in San Diego dates back to 1927 with the establishment of Gray Cary by Gordon Gray (a cousin of President Woodrow Wilson) and Judge William Cary.  The firm quickly grew into San Diego’s largest, with a heavy emphasis on litigation and a client list including both leading San Diego-headquartered companies and Fortune 500 companies.  Throughout our history, our lawyers have made a significant impact on San Diego – from Gordon Gray’s work in the founding of the San Diego Zoological Society to Jay Rains’ efforts in bringing the US Open to Torrey Pines.
Today, we represent a wide range of San Diego companies, including promising startups and the region’s largest companies in multi-national deals and cases.
2) What are some advantages to doing business in San Diego?
Why DLA Piper Chose San Diego with quote San Diego’s location and entrepreneurial spirit provide major advantages for our practice in San Diego.  For a global law firm, San Diego provides a strategic location at the crossroads for the Pacific Rim where US businesses and investors can come together with businesses and investors from Asia, Latin American and Europe.  We have been able to assist San Diego companies with transactions all over the globe.
Economic growth is as vital to law firms as it is to any other aspect of the economy.  San Diego’s entrepreneurial spirit, fed by institutions, like UC San Diego, and visionary business leaders, provide a strong engine for economic growth to compete with other markets.  We are fortunate to be positioned to assist with that growth by advising the region’s entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies.
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. 
Qualcomm has made itself into a global leader in wireless communications.  Through constant innovation, Qualcomm has managed to stay on top.  It has done this through terrific leadership and a commitment to hiring and retaining the most talented individuals.  It has also redefined itself seamlessly as wireless technology and the industry has evolved.  Few companies anywhere have been as influential or innovative as Qualcomm.
4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego? 
Since DLA Piper was formed, it has grown into the world’s largest law firm, with 4,200 lawyers in offices throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.   However, being big is not the goal.  Our goal is to continue to efficiently provide top quality legal services to innovative companies locally and around the globe.  The evolution of DLA’s San Diego offices are representative of that goal.  
For the San Diego region, we anticipate becoming more global and continuing to catalyze leading technology.  The mega-region represented by San Diego County, Imperial County, and northern Baja California is a competitive advantage to addressing the increasingly global and complex business needs of our companies in our region.  In addition to geography, our region will continue to lead in life sciences, wireless communications, data analytics, UAV’s, clean energy, and more.  If we continue to harness these advantages, San Diego can become one of the leading regions in the world over the next 5 years.

March 13, 2015

MetroConnect Header

Go Global San Diego has laid out the facts. If San Diego wants to compete in a global marketplace, it must encourage companies to increase their global engagement. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has stepped up to the plate to catalyze small and medium sized enterprises to take their businesses to the rest of the world.

At the Go Global San Diego Summit on Wednesday, San Diego Regional EDC and JPMorgan Chase announced the MetroConnect Prize. MetroConnect will provide selected company with up to $10,000 in matching funds to cover up to 50 percent of the costs associated with the company’s next steps to going global.

Thanks to support from the JPMorgan Chase & Co., San Diego Regional EDC will award the MetroConnect Prize to at least 20 companies trying to take their innovative products abroad, secure strategic partnerships and boost international sales, that ultimately translates into increased economic activity in San Diego.

Deadline to apply is May 4. Head over to to learn more and apply.

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


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..