San Diego’s Good News of the Week – April 12, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

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For the week of April 12, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

EDC’s Annual Dinner: June 18 at Petco Park

EDC invites you to our Annual Dinner, gathering more than 900 business and community leaders to celebrate our region and organization. On June 18, we’ll enjoy a brief program honoring our Life. Changing. awardees followed by dinner and networking at the new Gallagher Square at Petco Park.

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Liz Muthoni
Liz Muthoni

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

Q4 2023: San Diego’s employment and what it means post-pandemic

Each quarter, EDC’s Research Bureau releases its Economic Snapshot to analyze key economic indicators in San Diego’s economy. Read on as we dig deeper to assess the region’s job recovery journey in a post-pandemic economy by looking at economic trends through the end of 2023.

San Diego’s job recovery journey

As San Diego’s unemployment rate has remained up and above the national average, at 4.3 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, and as job growth has slowed compared to early 2023, it is worth examining the region’s progress recovery in a post-pandemic economy.

From March to April 2020, San Diego lost 233,900 jobs, and employment dropped by 18.5 percent causing the unemployment rate to spike to 15.7 percent. In November 2021, the region officially recovered the total number of jobs lost during the pandemic. While recovering lost jobs is an indicator of a healthy economy, it does not tell the whole story. The following explores San Diego’s employment data to understand where the region stands as of the end of 2023.

Not all industries are created equal

While San Diego has regained the total amount of lost jobs, this is not the case for each industry. Total employment in San Diego stands two percent higher than at the onset of the pandemic. However, more than half of industries in San Diego don’t currently match pre-pandemic employment levels. Top growing industries such as Utilities, Transportation, and Healthcare help offset other sectors that are lagging in job growth.

Comparing current employment levels relative to pre-pandemic numbers is not always a reflection of recovery. Such is the case for Finance and Insurance, which made up for pandemic-related job losses by December 2020, but currently sits at 5,300 jobs under original pre-pandemic levels. In fact, several other industries initially recovered pandemic job losses and now find themselves with lower total employment. This includes Retail Trade, Real Estate, Accommodation and Food Services, and Management of Companies.

While it is hard to assume this negative trend is related to pandemic effects, the new conditions it spurred can potentially have a lagging impact on employment across sectors. For example, as remote work trends have become more prevalent, commercial real estate is affected as firms continue to reduce their office footprint, which could potentially lead to a lower demand for commercial real estate talent. In 2019, remote job postings made up only eight and four percent of total job postings in Finance and Information, respectively. In 2023, those proportions grew to 26 and 15 percent.

The industries that recovered the fastest are Transportation and Warehousing in November 2020, followed by Finance and Insurance in December 2020, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services in March 2021. Employment in the Utilities industry was hardly impacted after March 2020, which might explain why it has added the most jobs since the pandemic started.

What if the pandemic didn’t impact jobs?

While jobs have been recovered, the pandemic has also impacted the job growth that would have occurred absent the pandemic. Before the COVID hit, San Diego’s annual employment growth rate was averaging at 1.1 percent. This typical annual growth rate was disrupted in 2020, as annual employment fell by 10 percent.

To get an idea of where employment would stand today if jobs had not declined amid the pandemic, we apply the average growth rate from 2019 to 2023. Below, we can see how this potential growth compares to the actual annual employment levels in San Diego. From this, we see that the region is still 1,488 jobs below the potential growth, assuming employment has been growing at a fixed annual rate of 1.1 percent. This recovery had a significant economic impact on the region beyond number of jobs. In 2020, the annual growth of San Diego’s gross regional product (GRP) was barely 0.1 percent, while the annual GRP growth rate in 2021 and 2022 was 10 percent.

San Diego relative to California

While San Diego has not fully closed this gap between actual employment and potential employment growth, it is ahead of the state. This aligns with the fact that San Diego’s unemployment rate has remained below California’s throughout the pandemic until now. Additionally, the region was able to reach pre-pandemic labor force levels back in 2022, while the state remains 1.57 percentage points below 2019 participation.

Where does San Diego stand?

While San Diego’s recovery from pandemic employment impacts is not over yet, it is very close to completion at a macro level. However, it is important to monitor individual industries as their employment trends differ from one another. Even after San Diego is aligned with its potential growth, there will likely be industries falling behind; some might even experience new disruptions due to emerging economic conditions in a post-pandemic economic climate.

When comparing to California, the region has held a stronger position and experienced an overall faster recovery, with lower unemployment rates, faster labor force growth, and more rapid return to potential growth.

Learn more in our Quarterly Economic Snapshot

Sofia Nelson-Ferezi
Sofia Nelson-Ferezi

Coordinator, Research

 

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A note from Mark on EDC’s Annual Dinner

Honoring Life. Changing. San Diegans

Dear EDC investors and partners,

I hope this message finds you all well and enjoying springtime in San Diego. As we speed through April, our entire team is turning its attention to our upcoming Annual Dinner.

As many of you know, for more than 20 years, San Diego Regional EDC has presented an award at our Annual Dinner that focuses on community and economic service and leadership. Originally called “The Spirit of San Diego Award,” this recognition was later changed in 2010 to honor the memory of Herb Klein—a truly wonderful San Diego leader who was noted for bringing people together to work on many of San Diego’s most challenging political and economic issues. More than anything, both iterations of this award were structured to recognize an individual who goes ‘above and beyond’ their day job to help make San Diego a better place, whether through philanthropy, volunteerism, vision, action, etc.

About nine years ago, EDC added a second award in memory of Duane Roth, another beloved San Diego leader and a tireless promoter of San Diego’s innovation economy. By contrast, this award would recognize a business or institution (not an individual) that was ‘changing the world from San Diego’ through technology, science, or innovation (think Qualcomm, the Salk Institute, Illumina, etc.). Duane was passionate about San Diego’s smart and life-changing companies and ideas, and this was EDC’s way of honoring his leadership, service, and memory.

Over the last few years, we have made efforts to ensure that the criteria for these awards are not only reflective of the leaders who inspired them, but of the changes in EDC’s work—with continued alignment to our core values of integrity, accountability, collaboration, and inclusion. The awards have now become known as our “Life. Changing. Awards,” an ode to our region’s brand identity and reflective of the EDC that businesses and individuals are investing in today. And if there were ever two words that could encapsulate the impact of Herb Klein and Duane Roth, those would certainly be them.

Meet our 2024 awardees

This year, our individual award will be given to (retired) Vice Admiral Jim Zortman. Admiral Zortman is one of the most highly decorated Naval officers to call San Diego home. He is the former Commanding Officer for Naval Air Forces, San Diego and Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet. He is also the retired Senior and Sector Vice President for Global Logistics and Operations Support for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. While at Northrop Grumman, he led the effort to make San Diego the company’s ‘center for excellence’ for unmanned systems. Admiral Zortman also served on the Chairman’s Competitiveness Council—a group of senior business and university leaders who worked to carve out meaningful and independent directions and focus areas for EDC, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Connect. He served on EDC’s board of directors and executive committee for more than 10 years. From 2016-2018, Jim served as EDC’s board chair and made ‘economic inclusion’ his focus area and platform. Feeling he had been a part of meaningful and intentional efforts made by the U.S. military to strengthen and diversify its officer ranks, and by Northrop Grumman to increase the number of women and people of color within its engineering, technical, and executive workforce, Jim felt that EDC could be a powerful catalyst to establish inclusion as an economic imperative within the San Diego region. Since Jim’s time as chair, every new EDC board chair has continued to build off the foundation he established and has kept inclusion at the forefront of EDC’s goals and work, which now so many of you have committed to and engaged in with us.

We will be presenting this year’s business award to a legendary San Diego company—Solar Turbines. Solar Turbines designs and manufactures industrial gas turbines for onshore and offshore electrical power generation, for marine propulsion, and for producing, processing, and transporting natural gas and oil. Headquartered in San Diego for nearly a century, Solar Turbines has more than 8,000 employees in dozens of countries around the world, with the majority of them working in the San Diego region. For decades, the company has represented the best elements of our binational economy with substantial manufacturing operations in Tijuana/Northern Baja. Solar Turbines has been a constant partner and investor in workforce development and training programs throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties, and has one of the most dedicated and diverse workforces in our region. It is also important to note that the corporate leadership of Solar Turbines has chosen to remain in San Diego and California despite aggressive efforts by other states to lure them away.

As champions of our organizational core values, examples of what Duane Roth and Herb Klein stood for, and critical partners in building a stronger, more vibrant, and more inclusive region, we could not be prouder to recognize Admiral Jim Zortman and Solar Turbines with our 2024 Life. Changing. Awards. Hoping that you will all join us at Petco Park on June 18 to give them the celebration and thanks they deserve.

Learn more and buy your tickets at EDCannualdinner.com.

With continued thanks for your leadership and support—Mark

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

Special thanks to our award sponsors Boston Consulting Group, San Diego State University, and UC San Diego.

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – April 5, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of April 5, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

Case study: EDC, regional partners cut ribbon on new Samsung Semiconductor sales office

Together with Mayor Gloria and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, EDC supported Samsung Semiconductor in celebrating the opening of its new Memory and Foundry customer engagement office. Supporting 20 staff and counting, the office marks the start of more regional expansion and will serve customers in San Diego and Southern California.

Read More


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Kyle Winnick
Kyle Winnick

Coordinator, Marketing

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – March 29, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of March 29, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

U.S. Commercial Service Export Compliance Roadshow

Join World Trade Center San Diego for a dynamic one-day program on April 17 featuring speakers from the U.S. Commercial Service, the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned exporter or new to the international market, this event will equip you with the network, knowledge, and tools necessary to navigate exporting while adhering to critical regulations.

Register Here


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Liz Muthoni
Liz Muthoni

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – March 22, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of March 22, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

Maximize your growth internationally

Join World Trade Center San Diego for a dynamic one-day program on April 17 featuring speakers from the U.S. Commercial Service, the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned exporter or new to the international market, this event will equip you with the network, knowledge, and tools necessary to navigate exporting while adhering to critical regulations.

Register Here


Business information and resources page

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Liz Muthoni
Liz Muthoni

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – March 15, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of March 15, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

EDC’s Annual Dinner: June 18 at Petco Park

EDC invites you to Annual Dinner, our signature event of the year, gathering more than 900 business and community leaders to celebrate our region and organization. We are back at Petco Park and promise great food, thoughtful conversations with your colleagues and friends, and a short program. Sponsorship opportunities available, contact Jennifer Storm for more information.

Get Early Bird Ticket 


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Liz Muthoni
Liz Muthoni

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – March 8, 2024

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. GNOTW is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of March 8, 2024, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some events and opportunities:

EDC’s Employee Retention and Talent Insights Study

EDC is scoping a unique study of local talent that will survey employees directly to draw insights regarding workforce effectiveness, skill readiness, and workplace needs. Insights will inform employee retention, company return to office plans, and office tenant attraction strategies. There is no cost to participate. To join us, please contact our team.

Learn More


Business information and resources page

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Liz Muthoni
Liz Muthoni

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

Samsung Semiconductor opens customer engagement office in San Diego

Together with Mayor Todd Gloria, EDC celebrated the opening of Samsung Semiconductor‘s new customer engagement office in San Diego, supporting Southern California customers.

“Samsung Semiconductor’s Memory and Foundry businesses are poised for growth as we innovate and fuel the future of AI, mobile, and automotive,” said Samsung Semiconductor’s U.S. President Jinman Han. “We are expanding in San Diego to better serve our customers in Southern California.”

“Just a few months ago, I led a delegation to South Korea where we visited Samsung’s Biologic offices and other tech giants to strengthen business relationships and to try to grow more quality jobs here at home,” said Mayor Todd Gloria.

“Today, we’re thrilled to see Samsung Semiconductor doubling down on its local tech footprint and making an important and valuable addition to San Diego’s globally connected innovation economy.”

Located in Del Mar, the new San Diego office is home to Memory and Foundry customer engagement teams totaling approximately 20 employees. Both teams support innovations that power AI, mobile, automotive, IoT, the data center, and more.

  • The Memory team partners closely with major local customers to develop and validate memory solutions for mutual end-customers across applications.
  • The Foundry team is responsible for the end-to-end support and engagement with customers in Southern California. This includes identifying the best Foundry technology for Samsung Semiconductor customers’ needs to sustaining production using Samsung’s process technologies ranging from 150nm all the way to 2nm.

Samsung Semiconductor has had offices in San Diego since 2010, with an R&D center focused on SOC, modem systems, RF systems, multimedia, AI, and commercialization. The company employs more than 200 employees in San Diego with plans for additional growth.

About Samsung Semiconductor

Samsung Semiconductor is a world-leading semiconductor company with a wide range of products that power the tools you use every day – including smartphones, electric vehicles, hyperscale data centers, IoT devices, and more. For more information and the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at semiconductor.samsung.com.

About EDC

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is an independently-funded economic development organization that mobilizes business, government, and civic leaders around an inclusive economic development strategy in order to connect data to decision making, maximize regional prosperity, enhance global competitiveness, and position San Diego effectively for investment and talent.

WTCSD’s Q1 Global Brief: Spotlighting San Diego’s global growth

Each month, World Trade Center San Diego delivers the latest global news and updates straight to your inbox.

In Q4 2023, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement. ➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief each quarter.

WTCSD unveils MetroConnect VII export accelerator cohort

Together with Mayor Todd Gloria and underwriters Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., WTCSD announced the 15 companies named to MetroConnect VII, which helps local, small- and mid-sized businesses build resilience by facilitating increased sales in global markets. From strategic and health technology to consumer goods, the multi-industry cohort will have access to a suite of resources to support expansion into international markets, including up to $30,000 in grant funding.
➝ Meet the Companies

Following trade mission, Dutch TNO establishes first North American office in San Diego

Following its Urban Strategy predictive modeling platform demonstration during WTCSD’s 2022 Netherlands trade mission, the Dutch government’s premier applied science research organization TNO will locate its first North American employee in San Diego. The partnership aims to develop a regional digital twin to inform San Diego’s decisions on land use, infrastructure, transportation, and housing development, complementing the region’s inclusive economic goals.
➝Read More

How MetroConnect VII’s Wearable Sensing is revolutionizing neurological research

Wearable Sensing develops wearable brain activity monitoring sensors using its patented active dry electrode technology to support research needs in real time, including studying brain function, identifying neurological disorders, and investigating effects of treatments on brain activity. As part of the new MetroConnect VII cohort, the Rancho Bernardo-based company aims to launch its technology further onto the global stage and grow its international sales in markets like the Middle East.
➝Read More

San Diego News

Events

Grow your company in san diego ↓

World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies—free of charge—to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego.

  • Export Specialty Center: For small companies interested in learning about exporting and international growth.
  • MetroConnect: For small and medium-sized companies ready to export and grow internationally.

➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief delivered straight to your inbox.


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For COVID-19 recovery resources and information: Visit this page, or see how we can help your company free of charge.