A note from Mark…

Gratitude abounds.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am struck by just how fast the past year has gone by. While the last few years have made it easy (and more than justified) to lament so much of what we have all been through—and what so many people are still going through—I want to use the inspiration of the month to give thanks.

The EDC team just recently moved into our new offices on the fourth floor of UC San Diego Park & Market in Downtown San Diego. And when you go through a big office move after being in the same place for more than a decade, you find a few reminders of what has made the work so important and special over the years. Through thank you notes from past colleagues, to small gifts and tokens from trade missions and visiting delegations, to photographs of different generations of team members, investors, and partners, the memories come rushing back.

Work, I have always found, can be as important to who we are and who we become as family, friends, education, environment, and the many other factors that help shape our lives. As colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, leaders, and partners, we not only have an opportunity to contribute to organizations, missions, and/or visions that matter to us, we have the opportunity to contribute to the lives of those we cross paths with every day.

As I looked through the thank you, farewell, and congratulations notes I have received (and saved) over the years, I started to recognize a pretty obvious trend: In my 30 years in the workforce, what has mattered the most to others hasn’t been the successes, failures, promotions, achievements, innovations, or inspirations that can often be associated with management and leadership positions and organizational successes. It has been the way we treat each other during the simplest or most challenging of times that matters the most. Almost more than words can express.

To everyone who has played a role in making my days better over the last 10 years at EDC and the last 20 years in San Diego, I am so thankful for your presence in my work and in my life. In the days we have left in 2022, let’s try to take some time to reach out to those who matter most to us and tell them why. Just an e-mail, a voicemail, or a few kind spoken or written words can become such an important treasure to someone around you, that they just might still have them sitting nearby in their (new) office decades later.

Below are some of the ways you can engage with the EDC team and our work in the coming weeks. We’re thankful as always for your investment, partnership, and support that makes it all possible…

Best,

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

Need tech talent? Attend Advancing San Diego’s upcoming events to strengthen your local talent pipeline:

Plus, join World Trade Center San Diego to grow your international sales:

For the latest on EDC, visit our events and news page to stay engaged.

Rady Children’s Hospital hires six FTEs following Advancing San Diego internship

Through Advancing San Diego’s internship program led by EDC, local healthcare provider Rady Children’s Hospital hosted six fully subsidized interns from top, local education programs, and went on to hire all as full-time employees.

CHALLENGE

San Diego’s healthcare providers face numerous challenges in attracting and retaining talent. Faced with a global pandemic, now more than ever healthcare providers are seeing higher-than-average turnover rates for essential roles like medical assistants. Additionally, many companies have fewer connections to top, preferred providers of healthcare talent in the region.

This is where Advancing San Diego (ASD) was able to help.

SOLUTION

Made possible by JPMorgan Chase, Advancing San Diego is a demand-driven strategy to address talent shortages and remove barriers for small and not-for profit companies to access qualified workers through a variety of services including its internship program. After a competitive application process, Rady Children’s Hospital was selected to host six paid ASD healthcare interns from top Preferred Provider training programs, at no cost.

ASD provided a competitive wage and stipend, as well as access to a vetted pool of diverse medical assistants. Rady also had the opportunity to work with ASD’s staffing partner, Manpower San Diego, which administered the interview process, administrative HR tasks, payroll, and more.

RESULT

As a result of EDC’s ASD program, Rady was able to skip the challenges of talent sourcing and dive straight into building camaraderie with their new interns and the Preferred Provider programs in which they came from. At the close of the internship, Rady Children’s Hospital hired all six students full-time—opening a door of social mobility for underrepresented talent in essential roles.

The program also helped relieve budgetary constraints by saving Rady thousands in payroll, overhead, and talent sourcing expenses.


“Advancing San Diego has helped us tap into diverse talent highly-prepared for the clinical hours we require. EDC’s program helped us establish better relationships with local education programs and introduced us to six skilled medical assistants who we’re excited to bring on full-time.”

-Jenna Martin, Strategic Business Project Manager, Rady Children’s Hospital


 

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A note from Mark…

Back to school, back to school

I hope this note finds you all healthy, well, and beating the heat as we head into fall. 

A quick look at my social media pages is a clear indication that school is back in session across our region. From first day of pre-school photos to first day of college photos, the lifelong learning process is on full display in the posts of proud parents, grandparents, and family members. 

It goes without saying that education is the cornerstone of economic development and opportunity. These days our team at EDC is working more closely with our education partners than ever before, and we can truly feel their enthusiasm as this new year begins. From the opening of new academic buildings, to the announcements of new courses and programs, to the celebration of a new stadium—the successes and results of business and education partnerships are on full display across our region. 

Over the last few years, I have marveled at how the quiet generosity of one EDC investor initiated a new partnership between a local high school and non-profit organization that has changed student’s lives. I have seen our community colleges and higher education partners work tirelessly with our team and employers to ensure they are consistently expanding and upgrading their curriculum to meet changing industry needs and requirements—evidenced by the recent, exciting news of an $18.1 million grant to SDICCCA. And within our own organization, we have watched part-time student internships lead to full-time job offers, promotions, and more as part of Advancing San Diego. 

When we think about our Inclusive Growth goals, and more specifically about doubling the number of post-secondary completions by 2030, it can feel overwhelming. But we know that we can only get there by leveraging, supporting, and embracing every partnership we have with our local educational institutions and systems. By working together to keep student curriculum and exposure current, we can drive socio-economic mobility for the talent of tomorrow.

So this September, as the education and lifelong learning cycle begins anew, we urge all of our private sector EDC investors—regardless of industryto continue expanding your relationships with the education leaders you share our table with. They cannot get us there alone, and neither can you. 

A broad list of resources for employers seeking to recruit and retain talent can be found here. If you have any questions on who and how to engage them, please contact our Advancing San Diego team. 

Wishing all of our education partners (and parents) within our EDC community a wonderful, safe, and productive school year ahead. I’m proud to work with and through all of you to ensure that the young people growing up in all corners of our community have the opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive within our region and economy. 

Best,

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

 

For specific opportunities to get involved with Advancing San Diego, submit this form or contact:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Sr. Manager, Talent Initiatives

Resources for recruiting and retaining talent in San Diego

Last edited November 2022

As of May 2022, there were 75,630 unique jobs posted in San Diego County, but only 42,100 unemployed San Diegans. Couple this talent shortage with unrealistic demands around compensation, benefits, and remote work, it’s fair to say we are living the most competitive battle for talent yet.

To meet employer demand, our region needs to double the number of post-secondary degree, certificate, or program completions per year. In particular, investing in Black and Hispanic youth would turn San Diego’s talent shortage into a surplus. More on Inclusive Growth here.

As part of our ongoing talent development efforts, EDC has compiled an ongoing hub of programs and initiatives below to help you fill your high-demand San Diego roles. Sign up for the talent newsletter for ongoing opportunities to participate in the development of our talent pipeline.

HIRE TALENT

SELL SAN DIEGO

UPSKILL EXISTING TALENT

BUILD YOUR PIPELINE

For more support, contact:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Sr. Manager, Talent Initiatives

Need Cyber talent? Meet our Preferred Provider programs

Last updated with new Preferred Providers June 13, 2022.

As part of its talent related initiatives, San Diego Regional EDC joined forces with San Diego Workforce Partnership and the Cyber Center of Excellence to launch CyberHire—a program designed to address the region’s growing demand for Cybersecurity talent and connect job seekers to secure meaningful careers.

Through two rounds of competitive application processes, the following education providers have been designated Preferred Providers of Cybersecurity and IT Talent, recognition from industry for their work in most effectively training the entry-level local workforce:

Preferred Providers of IT Talent:

Preferred Providers of Cybersecurity Talent:

Through the CyberHire program, participants enrolled in the Preferred Provider programs receive industry-verified certification in A+ and Network+ or Security+ along with career counseling and wrap-around services from the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

View the full Preferred Provider network

Hiring IT or Cyber talent?

If you are a San Diego business interested in hiring CyberHire participants to fill your entry-level IT and Cybersecurity roles, contact us. Through funding provided by the James Irvine Foundation, the San Diego Workforce Partnership will:

  • Place program participants in paid internships.
  • Subsidize wages for on-the-job training.
  • Host events for employers to meet CyberHire participants and showcase career opportunities at their companies.

LEARN MORE ABOUT EMPLOYER PARTICIPATION!

About CyberHire: Presented by The James Irvine FoundationCyberHire aims to transition unemployed, underemployed, and low-wage workers to quality Cybersecurity careers. CyberHire will help San Diegans launch a meaningful career that allows them to support themselves and their families.

Learn more

Want to hire CyberHire participants? Contact us:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Sr. Manager, Talent Initiatives

San Diego’s Data Bites: April 2022

Presented by Meyers Nave, this edition of San Diego’s Data Bites covers March 2022, with data on employment and more insights about the region’s economy at this moment in time. Check out EDC’s Research Bureau for even more data and stats about San Diego.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. San Diego employers added 8,000 nonfarm payroll positions between February and March, lowering the unemployment rate to 3.4 percent from a revised 4.0 percent from one month ago.
  1. Compared to March 2021, total nonfarm employment increased by 103,600, or 7.4 percent. 49,900 additional jobs in Leisure and Hospitality led year-ago employment gains, with Professional and Business services adding 20,600 positions.
  1. Employment in San Diego lags pre-pandemic levels by only 14,000 jobs, with Leisure and Hospitality accounting for 9,000 missing payroll positions. However, industries in San Diego’s innovation economy are well ahead of where they were before COVID-19.

Unemployment rate drops below four percent in March 2022

The March employment report showed that San Diego establishments added 8,000 nonfarm payroll positions compared to February, with 5,000 of these jobs in Leisure and Hospitality. State and Local Government was the next-closest industry experiencing employment gains, with 2,000 additional jobs. These additions to San Diego’s economy drove the unemployment rate lower by 0.6 percentage points, from a revised 4.0 percent in February to 3.4 percent in March.

Health Care and Social Assistance lost the most jobs between February and March, dropping 1,300 payroll positions. Although Ambulatory Health Care Services accounted for 1,100 of the lost jobs, the industry employed more people in March 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. These lost jobs could be the result of lower transmission and infection rates of COVID, requiring fewer employees to manage workloads.

Leisure and Hospitality continues to lead year-ago employment gains

Overall, San Diego employers added 103,600 nonfarm payroll positions from March 2021 to March 2022. Leisure and Hospitality accounted for 49,900 of these jobs, which is not surprising considering that companies in this industry cluster were the hardest hit by the pandemic. The fact that businesses engaged in Accommodation and Food Services are adding more jobs with each new jobs report is a sign that San Diego is recovering well from the troughs of the pandemic.
Furthermore, not a single one of the industry clusters that the EDD tracks (e.g. Leisure and Hospitality and Professional and Business Services) showed year-ago jobs losses, providing further evidence of the steady recovery of San Diego’s economy back to pre-pandemic levels. Professional and Business Services added 20,600 positions to San Diego’s economy, a 7.9 percent increase over last year’s levels. As part of San Diego’s innovation economy, industries such as Scientific Research and Development Services tend to be comprised of quality jobs, those that offer economic security by paying a wage that keeps up with the cost of living and providing employer-sponsored health benefits. Some sub-industries, however, did shed jobs compared to a year ago, such as Nursing and Residential Care Facilities (down 2,300 jobs) and Durable Goods manufacturing (down 2,000 jobs).

Employment in San Diego lags pre-pandemic levels by only 14,000 jobs

San Diego’s total nonfarm employment ended March 2022 at 1,501,100 jobs, which is 14,000 shy of pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. Although employment in Leisure and Hospitality is still 9,000 jobs lower than before COVID-19, this industry cluster has consistently led the pack in each monthly jobs report, meaning that pre-pandemic levels are just within reach. This is a strong indicator of the region’s economic recovery and health, as Accommodation and Food Services companies were the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Employment in other industry clusters, including those that drive San Diego’s innovation economy, has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Professional and Business Services has added almost 20,000 positions to the region’s economy from February 2020, with 7,300 of these jobs belonging to Scientific Research and Development Services. Jobs in these industries often have a high concentration of high paying quality jobs. The record year that San Diego experienced with respect to venture capital—especially in Tech and Life Sciences companies—should result in even more hiring by these companies throughout 2022.

However, the economic stimulus over the course of the pandemic has resulted in the highest inflation seen for quite some time, with the 12-month inflation rate reaching 8.5 percent in March. This led the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates by 25 basis points, with expectations of more to come. These expectations have translated into a decreased appetite for borrowing and investment, slowing the record pace at which San Diego is attracting venture capital dollars.

In fact, investment in Series A, seed, angel, and growth stages totaled just over $1 billion in Q1 2022, a far cry from the $2.7 billion in Q1 last year. Though the rate at which money is flowing into San Diego Tech and Life Sciences companies is slowing, the region will feel the ripple effects of the record-setting year in 2021 for some time to come. For example, the current demand for lab space in San Diego County is triple the amount of new deliveries that are expected in the next 12 months. As these Life Sciences companies move into new commercial space in the region, they will need to hire for newly created positions, many of which are high-paying quality jobs.

However, San Diego companies across all industries are engaged in a bitter competition for talent. Not only do high levels of inflation make San Diego a more expensive place to live, but a white-hot housing market has sent home prices through the roof, with the median home price reaching $950,000 in March, a 19 percent increase from one year ago. This high cost of living in San Diego is a tax that deters talent from staying in or relocating to the region. By addressing San Diego’s affordability crisis and building San Diego’s talent pipeline, employers can do their part to bolster the region’s resiliency and global competitiveness.

Interested in more? You may also like to read:

San Diego’s Data Bites: March 2022

Presented by Meyers Nave, this edition of San Diego’s Data Bites covers January and February 2022, as well as an additional update on annual benchmark revisions, with data on employment and more insights about the region’s economy at this moment in time. Check out EDC’s Research Bureau for even more data and stats about San Diego.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. San Diego’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.7 percentage points–from a revised 4.7 percent in January to 4 percent in February–with nonfarm employment increasing by 16,500 payroll positions.
  1. Employers in the region added more than 104,000 payroll positions since February 2021–with Service Providing industries accounting for 102,600 of the added jobs–lowering the unemployment rate by 3.7 percentage points.
  1. Annual benchmark revisions to employment data show that the region’s economy was recovering more rapidly than initially believed. Specifically, revisions to nonfarm employment for December 2021 improved the jobs count by more than 40,000 workers.

Service Providing industries lead month-ago and year-ago changes

February’s jobs report painted a positive picture for the San Diego regional economy. With respect to changes from January to February, nonfarm employment increased by 16,500, driving the unemployment rate lower to 4 percent from a revised 4.7 percent in January. Service Providing industries led the pack in employment gains, as Professional and Business Services added 6,100 jobs, Educational and Health Services added 4,800 jobs, and Leisure and Hospitality added 4,200 jobs. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities dropped 2,700 jobs, however, with employers in Retail Trade shedding 2,300 payroll positions. Manufacturing industries also had a down month, with losses of 1,000 jobs in Durable Goods production.

Service Providing industries were also the leaders in year-ago employment gains from February 2021, adding more than 104,000 jobs to the region. The slow and steady employment gains over the last year have resulted in the unemployment rate dropping by almost four percentage points from a revised 7.9 percent in February 2021 to 4 percent in February 2022. Within the Service Providing sector, Leisure and Hospitality added 52,700 positions, which is a good sign of recovery as these companies were the hardest hit during the pandemic. Employers in Professional and Business services also added 21,100 payroll positions, 9,300 of which were in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. These gains were not felt across all industries, however, as Durable Goods manufacturing lost 1,900 jobs from February 2021.

February employment inches closer to pre-pandemic levels

Looking at changes from February 2020 to February 2022 shows that the region is getting ever closer to pre-pandemic levels, a good sign for the recovery of San Diego’s economy. Total nonfarm employment is only about 25,000 (1.64 percent) lower than before the pandemic. Over half of these missing jobs are in Leisure and Hospitality, as the industry shows 14,000 fewer jobs in February 2022 than the same month in 2020, a gap of around 7 percent. Durable goods manufacturing is also exhibiting signs of a slower recovery with 6,200 fewer payroll positions than before the pandemic, or about 7 percent lower.

Despite some industries still playing catch-up, many have surpassed pre-pandemic employment levels. Professional and Business Services employers have added 19,300 payroll positions since February 2020, an increase of 7.4 percent. Notably, Administrative and Support and Waste Services have added 11,000 jobs (up 12.4 percent) while Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services have increased employment by 8,900 (up 6.05 percent). Speaking to San Diego’s position as a leader in Innovation and Life Sciences, companies in Scientific Research and Development Services have added 7,300 jobs since the start of the pandemic, an increase of more than 20 percent. With a hiring frenzy in innovation-related industries in full force, it is imperative for our region’s competitiveness that we continue to bolster the supply of the skilled labor that San Diego companies demand.

This means building a strong local talent pipeline of home-grown talent. It also means addressing the region’s affordability crisis so that it remains attractive to both businesses and workers. More at inclusiveSD.org.

Annual revisions show employment was greater during 2021 than first believed

Every March, the California Employment Development Division works with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revise employment data, a process called benchmarking. Depending on the year and the difficulties in gathering accurate employment data, these revisions might be significant. For reasons that should be unsurprising by now, 2021 was one such year.

What is striking about these revisions is the increasing underestimation of employment throughout 2021. Although January’s revised employment count was only about 500 greater than original estimates, the number had grown to 40,600 by December 2021. Put another way, original estimates were about 3 percent lower than the revised numbers. While this may seem like a trivial distinction, it does indicate that San Diego’s economic recovery was even stronger than originally believed. In fact, the industries that were most impacted by the pandemic reported some of largest upward revisions.

Leisure and Hospitality had 14,600 more jobs in December 2021 with the revised numbers (an upward revision of 8.7 percent), being driven by 8,500 jobs in Accommodation and Food Services (an upward revision of 5.8 percent). Revisions increased the employment count in Professional and Business Services by 12,100 (an upward revision of 4.5 percent), largely attributable to changes in Administrative and Support Services (an upward revision of 7,400, or 8.7 percent). All industries did not show an increase due to the annual revisions, however. Employment in Construction was lowered by 2,900 jobs (a downward revision of 3.4 percent) while the jobs count in Retail Trade was decreased by 2,100 jobs (a downward revision of 1.4 percent).

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A note on talent from Bree

It’s not you—it’s all of us. 

The long talked about ‘war for talent’ is more competitive than ever, with established firms upending whole hiring systems to meet the demands of today’s applicants—and still, not getting enough. You are not alone; this is not a one-company problem. In our countless conversations with HR leaders and executives, it’s clear firms across industries and size are struggling to fill their open positions (EDC included).

In a survey of 200 local businesses, hiring difficulty reached a new high in December. That same month, local San Diego employers posted more than 158,000 unique jobs—nearly half of which were new positions and predominantly in STEM. And yet, there are just 61,000 people currently unemployed in the region.

Flexibility. Remote work. Mission. Culture. Inclusion. The pandemic flipped the script on workforce demands with companies across the country being stretched to meet the needs of prospective recruits. Established firms can’t compete with the benefits offered by startups from salary to signing bonus to equity. Startups can’t offer the structure or safety net available at large corporations. Yet San Diego is uniquely positioned to compete.

The region stands apart with its thousands of mission-driven companies, its unparalleled quality of life, and its collaborative ecosystem. These are the stories we tell in San Diego: Life. Changing., and the connections we drive through Advancing San Diego.

EDC can help:

  • Lean into the San Diego story in selling your business to recruits using these tools;
  • Engage with us to mold student curriculum to meet your industry needs;
  • Apply for interns paid for by EDC’s foundation;
  • And share your open roles for promotion across our channels.

And above all, turn inward to upskill and promote your existing workforce and consider rethinking existing job requirements which may be inadvertently excluding qualified San Diegans. Pandemic-induced challenges aren’t going away soon, and the battle for talent may endure, but with San Diego as your homebase, we’ve got you covered.

All my best—Bree

Bree Burris
Bree Burris

Director, Marketing & Communications

READ EDC’S MONTHLY REPORT

Meet our Advancing San Diego Preferred Providers of Life Sciences Talent

Source your science talent from these edu programs…

Fueled by industries like Tech, Defense, and Life Sciences, San Diego’s innovation economy relies on a pipeline of diverse talent. However, local companies continue to cite access to quality talent as a persistent and growing challenge. Ninety-eight percent of firms in San Diego are small companies (<100 employees) that often lack time and resources to effectively compete for talent with their larger counterparts. Meanwhile, many San Diegans are disconnected from high-demand job opportunities, largely due to education requirements.

Made possible by JPMorgan Chase, Advancing San Diego is a demand-driven strategy to address talent shortages and remove barriers for small companies to access qualified workers. It is a collaborative effort between EDC, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, San Diego Workforce Partnership, City of San Diego, and United Way of San Diego.

Over the last six months, Advancing San Diego partners worked with a group of 22 employers to develop skills-based criteria for Lab Technicians (aka Research Assistants). We asked that any education provider meeting that criteria apply for the Preferred Provider designation. An employer-led review panel then evaluated these applicants against the skills criteria to determine which programs should be designated as ‘Preferred Providers,’ recognized as those most effectively preparing individuals for jobs and internships as Lab Technicians.

EDC is eager to announce Preferred Providers of Life Sciences Talent:

Need science talent?

Advancing San Diego will select up to 20 high-growth Life Sciences companies in the region to host paid Lab Technician/Research Assistant interns, sourced from the above Preferred Provider programs, at no cost to the business. Selected companies will be asked to host two interns for 240 hours each during the Summer 2022. Interns will be paid through Advancing San Diego, and have access to additional funds to support their success in the workplace. Apply here—applications close February 14.

Sign up to receive updates on Advancing San Diego

For more information, visit AdvancingSD.org.

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San Diego’s Data Bites: January 2022

Presented by Meyers Nave, this edition of San Diego’s Data Bites covers December 2021, with data on employment and more insights about the region’s economy at this moment in time. Check out EDC’s Research Bureau for even more data and stats about San Diego.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. San Diego’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in December from 4.6 percent in November; the number of people unemployed is nearly half of what it was a year ago.
  1. A banner year in venture capital funding appears to be driving job growth in Scientific Research and Development Services, which ended 2021 up 13.6 percent.
  1. The demand for skilled workers far exceeds the current supply of talent within the region. Key positions that employers are hiring for have high salaries and educational requirements.

Job losses and lower labor force participation in December

San Diego saw its unemployment rate fall again in December to 4.2 percent, however labor force participation declined as well. Compared to December 2020, there are now 56,900 fewer people unemployed. While many have returned to work as evidenced by the strong job growth throughout 2021, more than 65,000 people continue to be out of work. The region’s unemployment rate remains below that of the state and above the national average, 5.0 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, as it has been throughout the year.

Total nonfarm employment dropped by 1,200 jobs in December. Construction and Healthcare and Social Assistance experienced the greatest monthly declines, each shedding 2,400 payroll positions. However, many of the job losses were offset by gains in other sectors. Professional and Business Services led the way with 4,100 jobs added in December and is now up 5.3 percent from December 2020. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities also increased by 2,500 jobs, driven by Retail Trade, which boosted the overall sector with 1,200 jobs.

Record venture capital funding is propelling job growth

In 2021, the region pulled in nearly $9 billion of venture funding dwarfing anything seen in years past. While the biggest venture capital deals have gone toward technology startups, San Diego Life Sciences companies pulled in $1.6 billion more than their tech counterparts throughout the year. The surge of venture capital dollars is beginning to translate into faster job growth in San Diego.

Scientific Research and Development Services added 1,700 jobs in December after averaging monthly gains of just 300 jobs during the first 11 months of 2021 and is now up 5,200, or 13.6 percent, compared to a year ago. This represents a rapid acceleration from the 7.0 percent growth rate of previous five years. Looking further back, we see that the industry has nearly doubled its contribution to the regional economy, which was slightly above $5 billion in 2010 and is now about $9.7 billion.

While an additional 5,200 jobs in a high paying industry is certainly welcome, an analysis of job postings suggests that San Diego employers were trying to hire as many as 39,000 more workers in 2021. The demand is mostly for high-skilled, high-paying positions. In fact, more than 21 percent of jobs in the industry are concentrated in just four occupations: medical scientists, biochemists and biophysicists, project management specialists, and software developers. Importantly, all these positions typically require a four-year college degree at the entry-level.

Employers have reported increasing difficulty hiring throughout the year, leaving the region woefully undersupplied in terms of the talent needed to sustain industry growth. Ensuring that the region is an affordable one is paramount to attracting and retaining talent. In the long-term, San Diego must invest in the next generation workforce and develop a pipeline of skilled talent to meet employer demand. Looking at the demographics of the region, the focus must be on an inclusive economic development strategy that support Black and Brown youth at the same level of their white peers. Doing so will safeguard the future competitiveness of the region.

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