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The Big Picture San Diego Blog

June 2015 U.S. Metro Employment Comparison

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.


  • 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.