Good News of the Week – September 25, 2020

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

For the week of September 25, 2020, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are the events we’re (virtually) attending:

San Diego’s economic recovery must be inclusive.

Every economic recovery the U.S. has experienced has increased systemic poverty & widened inequalities in Black & Latino communities. This time, we’re committed to getting the recovery right. Learn more from EDC board chair Julian Parra. Read More.

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic

In August, EDC’s San Diego: Life. Changing. wrapped up a series of virtual events highlighting the innovation economy and spirit of collaboration that exist in San Diego. If you weren’t able to tune in, you can catch the recap on our blog. Read More.

San Diego business resources:

Amidst everything happening in the world, we need a reminder that there’s plenty of ‘Good News’ to go around in San Diego. We have also compiled additional resources for businesses and individuals seeking additional guidance.

For businesses:

For individuals:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Heather Dewis
Heather Dewis

Coordinator, Marketing

Join us: Manufacturing Day 2020

Do you work for a manufacturer, or just want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene?

Click here to register for EDC’s October 1 virtual manufacturing event.

Plus, register to attend other regional manufacturing events:

Six things you didn’t know were #MadeInSD

Our region is home to a vibrant manufacturing cluster that spans many industries, including defense, aerospace, shipbuilding and repair, medical devices, craft brewing, and sports and active lifestyle. With a highly-skilled workforce, robust training programs, and close proximity to Mexico, San Diego is a hub for advanced manufacturing companies, with nearly 3,150 manufacturing companies currently supporting more than 108,000 jobs.

Here are six things you didn’t know were made by San Diego companies. And if you want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene, click here to register for EDC’s October 1 virtual manufacturing event.

1. Hard kombucha 

San Diego is a craft beer capital, certainly. But add an affinity for the outdoors, San Diego’s powerhouse brewing capabilities, and a sprinkle of regional innovation, and you’re eventually bound to get hard kombucha.

Local companies JuneShine and Boochcraft, which brew their beverages from organic, fresh ingredients, are heavyweights in the $12 million international hard kombucha industry. Even Forbes agrees.

Companies you should know: Boochcraft, JuneShine

2. Household supplies

You can keep your house clean and running thanks to San Diego manufacturers that believe its users should enjoy one product for dozens of use cases.

Vista-based Dr. Bronner’s boasts 18 different uses for its castile soaps, like doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, and controlling pests. And arguably everyone’s favorite household item, Scripps Ranch-based WD-40 has compiled more than 2,000 user-documented applications, including oiling, polishing, and removing residue.

Companies you should know: WD-40, Dr. Bronner’s

3. Medical devices

You probably know San Diego is a thriving hub for biotech in all forms – from research to medical device manufacturing. BD, Illumina, and Genentech are just a few of the local medical device companies that collectively employ more than 6,000 San Diegans.

And younger, smaller companies are showing no signs of slowing down either. From April through June 2020 alone, San Diego healthcare startups brought in $875 million in VC funding to help advance a variety of tests, treatments, and cures – largely focused on COVID-19.

Companies you should know: BD, Illumina, Genentech

4. Golf equipment

When it comes to popular success, North County’s golf equipment companies are on par with the rest of our region’s manufacturers. Callaway Golf and TaylorMade Golf, both based in Carlsbad, manufacture high-quality golf and athletic equipment used by casual and pro players alike.

Companies you should know: Callaway Golf, TaylorMade Golf

5. Guitars

Headquartered in El Cajon with a factory open for public tours, Taylor Guitars equips everyone from new players to Taylor Swift with beautiful, locally-made electric and acoustic instruments. Recently, the company has seen renewed public interest in its product. In June and July alone, the company received an enormous uptick in sales – to the tune of half its projected yearly orders.

Companies you should know: Taylor Guitars

6. Sunscreen

All this San Diego sun means we need healthy sun protection. Enter locally-made sunscreen. Coola, Sun Bum, and Amavara Skincare aren’t just solid sunscreen choices; they’re good for the earth too. These local manufacturers boast natural, environmentally-friendly, and cruelty free products – so you can care for yourself and the world around you.

Companies you should know: Coola, Sun Bum, Amavara Skincare

More on manufacturing:

Do you work for a manufacturer, or just want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene?

Click here to register for EDC’s October 1 virtual manufacturing event, or attend other regional manufacturing events:

Contact Taylor Dunne to add your manufacturing event to this list!

You might also like:

Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Anna Kelley, Tourmaline Wireless

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched this Spring in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students close out their Summer internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that make up the first cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Anna Kelley, ASD intern at Tourmaline Wireless. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, Tourmaline Wireless is building the future of decentralized wireless telecommunications. The Oceanside-based company provides resilient, off-grid solutions based on mesh networks, 4G LTE, and Iridium satellite.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi my name is Anna, and I was a second-year student at San Diego Mesa College when I came across the ASD internship opportunity. I recently transferred to New York University to pursue a Computer and Electrical Engineering degree.

How has your experience in the ASD Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

The hands-on experience that I obtained while interning at Tourmaline Wireless exceeded all of my expectations. During this internship, I had an opportunity to get hands-on experience with different programming languages and to work on debugging and troubleshooting software defects. Since it was my first internship in the engineering field, I was worried that I was lacking in technical skills. However, my internship supervisor Paul Victorine was so supportive and he made it so easy for me to participate in all the activities during this internship. It was such an amazing learning experience for me and I will continue educating myself in these areas to grow my confidence.

See Paul’s ASD interview here

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

The most challenging part about being a student during COVID-19 was a transition to online learning because not every class can be fully online. For example, my chemistry lab was replaced with five minutes of YouTube videos and it was not the same experience anymore.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry?

I would recommend participating in different clubs, programs, and getting an internship as soon as possible. This year I participated in several programs with NASA (L’Space Academy and NCAS, all remote) and it was not only fun, but also a great experience that I can put on my resume.

Visit Tourmaline Wireless on web and Instagram.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Economy in crisis: Closer look at August employment report reveals troubling trend

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A deep dive into San Diego’s employment report for August reveals a troubling trend.
  • Thousands of workers have fled the labor force since February, which has artificially lowered the unemployment rate and puts San Diego’s economy at risk.

THE SNAG

We’re taking a deeper dive into San Diego’s employment report for August. The region added 20,500 payroll jobs last month as businesses forced to close again in July were allowed to reopen with restrictions in August. Additionally, the unemployment rate fell 2.5 percentage points from 12.4 percent in July to 9.9 percent, which is more than three times the largest downward move in the rate observed before the pandemic. However, a closer look at the record drop in unemployment last month reveals a troubling trend.

In order to be counted as unemployed in the Labor Department’s employment report, workers must still be in the labor force, which is defined as actively seeking employment over the four weeks prior to the survey. This means that the unemployment rate can theoretically drop in a given survey month, even if there were no job gains, if enough workers leave the job market.

Some 16,400 workers exited the labor force in August, the largest single-month exodus in more than six years. Without last month’s contraction in the labor force, the unemployment rate would have stood at 10.8 percent. Widening the temporal aperture a bit, San Diego’s labor force has withered by 36,200 workers since February before the COVID downturn took hold. If those workers had not fled the workforce, August’s unemployment rate would have stood at an even more elevated 11.9 percent in August, two full percentage points above the officially reported 9.9 percent, and would have peaked at 17.6 percent in May, 2.4 percentage points higher than the officially reported rate of 15.2 percent that month.

WHY IT MATTERS

The above creates at least two issues that can have tangible effects on the real economy that span well beyond any technical foibles underpinning the calculation of the unemployment rate:

  1. Workers who drop out of the labor force cannot receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The average weekly UI payout in California is $305.82. Using that figure as a guidepost (UI payout data aren’t readily available at the metro or county levels), the loss in household income conservatively amounts to roughly $20 million dollars each month—or almost a quarter billion dollars per year. And that’s just accounting for the 16,000 or so workers who left in August. Including the roughly 20,000 other discouraged workers who have left since February, that $240 million balloons to nearly $600 million that is no longer reaching households’ wallets—and, therefore, local businesses—in a given year.
  1. Marginally attached workers are significantly less likely to rejoin the labor force as time wears on. The longer that workers remain on the sidelines, the more effectively they can adjust household spending habits and re-examine the trade-offs between working and being home with family. On average, it takes higher pay to entice workers to rejoin the labor force than to keep them in the labor force to begin with.

A significant rise in worker pay sufficient to draw re-entrants back to the job market will hinge on a dramatically lower unemployment rate, which is well off in the future, perhaps as late as 2022. Given that, there’s a good chance that many of those who’ve already left the job force will not return. It will also give many more the opportunity to exit if they are not rehired soon.

Ultimately, this translates to San Diego’s economy relying on fewer workers to drive growth and maintain economic stability. The economic literature on this topic suggests that future economic downturns could become more frequent and deeper if growth and stability rest on a smaller number of employees. That’s why we need to get this recovery right – learn more here.

That’s why a path forward for discouraged workers that includes upskilling and reskilling is so necessary. The prospect of a more stable and lucrative career would likely draw many people who have left over the past six months back to the labor force. This could put money back into people’s pockets well ahead of late next year or early 2022 and could help to mitigate the possibility of any longer term damage to San Diego’s economy.

EDC’s Advancing San Diego initiative is exploring a viable path forward. With better connectivity to academia, business leaders can begin to communicate the specific skills required to successfully perform jobs in any number of high-demand positions, providing the roadmap for colleges and universities to enhance their curricula perhaps by building out “micro-credential” certificates or academic programs designed to prepare workers in a matter of weeks—rather than years—to take on those jobs.

For more COVID-19 recovery resources and information, please visit this page.

Regardless of how this all plays out, EDC is here to help. You can use the button below to request our assistance with finding information, applying to relief programs, and more.

Request EDC assistance

You might also like:

The life-changing legacy of RBG

A note from EDC President & CEO Mark Cafferty

“It is so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
—John Steinbeck, The Winter of our Discontent

Politics and parties aside, America lost a true icon, pioneer, barrier-breaker, and a beacon of democracy and justice this weekend. And the impacts of this loss will be felt in all corners of our country, in immeasurable ways. From young women growing up in a nation that has never recognized them as equal, to those asking that their love and relationships be acknowledged and accepted regardless of their sexual preferences, to those who have never been judged by the content of their character because of the color of their skin, to those simply seeking the basic human rights of healthcare and citizenship in a nation that has urged the world to send us its huddled masses yearning to breathe free—Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a guardian, a protector and an inspiration.

In such a difficult year, in an age of such divisive politics and rhetoric, during such uncertain and uncomfortable times, she somehow remained a pillar of strength and light. Through all of it. And even when battling cancer for the fifth time, she still seemed invincible. Maybe even immortal.

May her life, legacy, and spirit continue to make us a better nation. And as citizens, may we live up to her expectations, her hopes, and her wishes in the work we do today and in the world we leave for the generations that follow.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
—Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1933-2020

Words to live by.

Good News of the Week – September 18, 2020

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

For the week of September 18, 2020, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are the events we’re (virtually) attending:

San Diego’s economic recovery must be inclusive.

Every economic recovery the U.S. has experienced has increased systemic poverty & widened inequalities in Black & Latino communities. This time, we’re committed to getting the recovery right. Learn more from EDC board chair Julian Parra. Read More.

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic

In August, EDC’s San Diego: Life. Changing. wrapped up a series of virtual events highlighting the innovation economy and spirit of collaboration that exist in San Diego. If you weren’t able to tune in, you can catch the recap on our blog. Read More.

San Diego business resources:

Amidst everything happening in the world, we need a reminder that there’s plenty of ‘Good News’ to go around in San Diego. We have also compiled additional resources for businesses and individuals seeking additional guidance.

For businesses:

For individuals:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Heather Dewis
Heather Dewis

Coordinator, Marketing

San Diego’s Economic Pulse: September 2020

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers August 2020 and reflects some effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the labor market. Check out EDC’s research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego’s economy.

Key Takeaways

  1. Unemployment drops sharply to 9.9 percent; remains highest in the unincorporated parts of the County.
  1. Employment up in nearly all industries, up 20,500 jobs month over month.
  1. Low-wage job losses are nearly 30 times greater than high-wage job losses.

Unemployment Drops

The region’s unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in August down from a revised 12.4 percent in July 2020, and far above the year-ago estimate of 3.4 percent. Unemployment declined monthly as the region continues to reopen and jobs recover. San Diego’s unemployment rate remains lower than the state unemployment rate of 11.6 percent, but higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.5 percent.

Unemployment was highest in the unincorporated areas of Bostonia (17.9%), Bonita (14.7%), Spring Valley (13.6%), and in the cities of National City (13.7%) and El Cajon (13.6%), and lowest in the cities of Solana Beach (5.5%), Poway (6.8%), Coronado (6.8%), Del Mar (7.3%), and Encinitas (7.3%). Wealthier areas are enjoying lower rates of unemployment, while neighborhoods with a larger share of lower-paid workers suffer from higher rates of unemployment – elaborated on below.

Employment Bounces Back

Total nonfarm employment increased in August, up 20,500 jobs. This follows similar patterns to the state and national data. In California, nonfarm employment increased by 140,400 in August from the month prior, while payroll employment increased by 1.4 million in the U.S. during the same time period.

However, compared to a year ago, San Diego nonfarm employment remains down 135,800 jobs or 9 percent. In California, total nonfarm employment is down 1.6 million jobs, or 8 percent compared to a year ago, while the U.S. is down nearly 13 million jobs, or 8.8 percent.

Sector Employment Gradually Returning

Government accounted for the largest monthly gains, adding 6,800 jobs in August, primarily concentrated in local government education (up 4,300 jobs) after last month’s large decline. Compared to a year ago, local government education is still down 11,400 jobs.

Professional and business services followed with an increase of 5,300 jobs. Most of those job gains were in the administration and support services sector, which added 3,100 jobs to the region.

Construction employment increased this month, adding 3,100 jobs.

Trade, transportation, and utilities employment increased this month, adding 2,600 jobs. This was driven primarily by retail, which added 2,300 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality employment as a whole declined by 400 jobs in August. Encouragingly, however, restaurants added 700 jobs last month amid measured reopenings across the region.

Recovery Must Focus on Low-Wage Workers

Despite the gains observed in August, industry employment remains well below levels a year ago. The largest decline in employment has been in leisure and hospitality, which is down 60,100 jobs (shown in the chart above), or 29 percent since August 2019. Most of those leisure and hospitality job losses are concentrated in accommodation and food services, with a loss of 43,900 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities are down 17,100 jobs, with 11,700 of those jobs in retail. Government is down 15,400 jobs annually, with 14,000 local government jobs lost.

The lowest wages in San Diego County are concentrated in the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19: accommodation and food services, retail trade, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and educational services. Average wages for accommodation and food services are $30,560, retail trade are $41,785, arts, entertainment, and recreation are $45,040, and educational services are $49,826. Each sector hit hardest by COVID19 falls below the median regional wage of $73,596.

Layoffs in low-wage sectors have occurred at a rate much higher than those in high-wage sectors. According to Opportunity Insights, low wage jobs are down 31.8 percent. Meanwhile, high wage jobs are down only 1.8 percent.

Consumer spending has also suffered as wages continue to drop, especially for lower-wage employees. While low-wage workers hold less spending power, they spend more of their paychecks directly, rather than investments or savings. We can expect to see a larger proportion of spending come back into the economy as lower-paid employees get their jobs back, and ultimately advance to better paying positions over time.

Every previous economic recovery has increased systemic poverty and widened inequality. Too often in a rush to restore normalcy, entire segments of our community have been left further behind. The stakes could not be higher that we get this recovery right. We must rebuild an economy that is more resilient than before, so prosperity reaches more people. Read more about EDC’s recovery framework.

 

For more COVID-19 recovery resources and information, please visit this page.

EDC is here to help. You can use the button below to request our assistance with finding information, applying to relief programs, and more.

Request EDC assistance

You also might like:

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic: A Recap

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic: a Recap

In August, San Diego: Life. Changing., a program of San Diego Regional EDC, wrapped up a series of virtual events highlighting the innovation economy and spirit of collaboration that exist in San Diego. The series looked at how the life sciences industry is playing a role in shaping the pandemic, and life after the pandemic, for our region.

The series kicked off in May through a partnership with Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., featuring a research institution searching for a vaccine, a therapeutics company working on a treatment, and a med-tech company developing ventilators and other devices to aid in COVID-19 treatment. The expert panel included Dr. Sumit Chanda, professor and director at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; Joseph E. Payne, president and CEO of Arcturus Therapeutics; and John Stevens, VP of IT at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

San Diego: where collaboration happens.

The scientists that participated in the first webinar agreed that the collaborative spirit of San Diego is what makes the life-changing work that happens here possible. Dr. Chanda stated:

“I don’t know if it’s the weather or the synergy, but the partnerships that happen here don’t happen anywhere else. We are working with Scripps, UC San Diego, and a number of local companies across different disciplines.”

Stevens agreed, in saying: “The partnerships are really important – different companies with everyone working together is truly how we’re going to combat this going forward.”[Thermo Fisher] has leveraged a lot of great relationships in the San Diego area. New partnerships come in every day, and I think it’s important to keep working together as one team.”

Then, in June, EDC partnered with investor Illumina to have genomics experts weigh in on the pandemic. We were joined by Gary Schroth, distinguished scientist and Vice President at Illumina, and James Lu, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Helix. Gary and James helped us untangle the complicated world of DNA and understand how next-generation genome sequencing is helping scientists understand the intricacies of COVID-19.

Still hiring!

In July, we took a break from the scientists and heard from some of San Diego’s top hiring professionals as they shared pro tips for finding new career opportunities during the global pandemic. Jessica Serrano, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition and Talent Systems at Lytx; Chris Shoemaker, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at MindTouch; and Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement for Sony North America shared their recommendations for finding and starting a new job while navigating this new remote-first environment. All three of these companies, and so many others, are still hiring for positions that could lead to a meaningful career in San Diego.

See the recorded event here

Stay inspired, San Diego.

Finally, with the help of trusted investor West Health, we wrapped the San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic webinar series up with a look at what he region is doing to ensure our senior population is receiving the care they deserve in a safe and accessible way as they continue to be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Moderated by Dr. Zia Agha, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of West Health, the conversation hit on the most important topics from food security for older adults, to dental care, to healthcare policies that will ensure long term success…as well as what WE can do to help the seniors in our community.

See the recorded event here

If you were able to tune in to our series, we hope that it provided you with some insight on the ongoing and impactful efforts of some of San Diego’s brightest, in a time in our world when we need it most. As always, San Diego steps up to change lives.

Good News of the Week – September 11, 2020

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

For the week of September 11, 2020, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are the events we’re (virtually) attending:

Economy in crisis: Local housing market stays hot, unaffordable despite COVID-19

COVID-19 has done little, if anything, to cool down San Diego’s hot housing market. Despite record job losses, the region’s lower mortgage rates, strong population growth, the addition of high-earning newcomers to the region, and a razor-thin inventory of available houses have fueled house price growth. Read More.

San Diego business resources:

Amidst everything happening in the world, we need a reminder that there’s plenty of ‘Good News’ to go around in San Diego. We have also compiled additional resources for businesses and individuals seeking additional guidance.

For businesses:

For individuals:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Heather Dewis
Heather Dewis

Coordinator, Marketing