San Diego’s Quarterly Economic Snapshot: Q4 2019


Every quarter, San Diego Regional EDC analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This issue covers data from Q4 2019.

As 2019 wraps up and the region continues to struggle with housing affordability, the number of annual building permits continues to decrease. In 2019, there were 8,082 building permits issued, with 3,023 single family permits and 5,059 multi-family permits. Annual building permits saw a 17.4 percent decrease from 2018 to 2019. Building permits have decreased annually since 2016.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego’s unemployment rate continues to drop, at 2.8 percent in Q4
  • Total annual nonfarm employment increased by 34,800 jobs, or 2.3 percent from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019, led by 9,500 new jobs in the Professional and Business Services industry
  • The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities recorded the largest quarterly gain, adding 10,800 jobs, or 4.9 percent compared to Q3 2019
  • San Diego’s housing market was the second most expensive in the nation with the median home price at $655,000 in Q4, up annually by 4.6 percent
  • While annual building permits issued for 2019 were lower than 2018, Q4 2019 housing permits were greater than Q4 2018
  • San Diego saw 39 Venture Capital deals worth $655 million, primarily concentrated in the healthcare sector