Looking into the 2024 crystal ball

Sticking the ‘soft’ landing

Happy new year from your local, recovering economist!

After another year filled with uncertainty and the seemingly ever long tail of pandemic-related disruptions, we enter 2024 with a whole host of questions—some new, some recurring.

The past year was dominated by the prognostications of a looming recession. Goldman Sachs famously gave it a 100 percent probability and even the Federal Reserve was bracing for an economic downturn as recently as the summer.

However, it is worth stating the obvious here that the United States did not go into a recession. Throughout 2023, measures of economic growth consistently beat expectations. In the fourth quarter of the year, the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent fueled by consumer spending as well as business investment. We saw record corporate profitability, a strong labor market that added nearly three million jobs, and even inflation slow significantly and come close to the Fed’s comfort level of two percent.

Locally, we ended the year with 23,400 more jobs. Investment also came into the San Diego region from both public and private sources. Startups raised another $4 billion in venture capital funding and San Diego received $950 million in federal funding for cleantech development.

There are more jobs in San Diego than ever before, however there are fewer people available to do them. Over the last 12 months, the labor force declined and it is expected that our prime-working age population will shrink in the coming years. Part of this is due to accelerated retirements brought about by the pandemic; part is due to the ever-increasing cost of living. The median-priced home is now more than $1 million with a monthly mortgage payment of more than $5,300.

So, 2024…

Looking to the year ahead, we are approaching a unique moment to accelerate large scale transformation around the future of work and the built environment.

Employers are offering remote and flexible work arrangements at higher rates than during the height of the pandemic. The rapid adoption of generative AI tools is changing how work is done and re-defining what skill development means, favoring agility over ability. There are 32,000 employers nationwide competing for workers with AI skills. In San Diego, there have been more than 5,200 unique job postings seeking AI skills since the launch of ChatGPT just over a year ago.

The permanence of remote work offerings has led to a re-imagining of the office with a flight toward quality. Many employers remain unsure of when and who should return to the office (we can help). These decisions will have profound implications for the future use of office space across our region, of which there is more than 10 million square feet currently vacant, with several million more planned, under construction, or with leases coming due in the next year.

While affordability remains abysmally low, housing production has ramped up with permitting activity expected to match levels not seen since 2017. This is still not enough new housing to meet demand, but still very welcome development (pun intended!). Additionally, rent growth seems to have plateaued and returned to pre-pandemic rates giving renters a much-needed pause in increases.

And yet, nothing that our region will face in 2024 is inevitable. What lies ahead is both a familiar challenge and a new opportunity for inclusive growth. A challenge to meet the talent needs of our employers, and an opportunity to remove barriers to entry into the workforce. A challenge to promote quality job growth in small businesses, and an opportunity to shift spending toward local, diverse suppliers. A challenge to address affordability, and an opportunity to re-imagine our urban core to retain high-paying jobs and provide housing for working families.

It’s a tall order, but our region is hungry. Let’s get to work!

Eduardo Velasquez
Eduardo Velasquez

Sr. Director, Research & Economic Development


Read 2023’s edition: Looking into the crystal ball…

More FROM EDC’s research bureau

More on inclusive growth

EDC’s Employee Retention & Return to Office Study

The pandemic has dramatically changed how people work, leading to a ‘great reshuffling’ with record high quits across all industries. In 2022, more than 3.5 million jobs were advertised as remote positions. This has left nearly half of the office space unused across the country. Despite all this disruption, the competition for talent has never been greater. There were more than nine million unique job openings in August 2023.

In San Diego, job growth is strong with nearly all industries more than fully recovering job losses from the pandemic. Yet, official office vacancy rates remain elevated (14 percent) and another five million square feet are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, many employers remain unsure of when and who should return to the office.

These changing dynamics add complexity to talent recruitment and retention efforts, while adding uncertainty to the future use of office space across the region.

To respond to this persistent and pervasive quandary, EDC is scoping a unique study of the local workforce across 2024. We have seen the results of a similar study of a large city in the Midwest. We will survey the employees of large and small companies throughout San Diego County. To our knowledge this is the first local study of scale on workforce requirements and desires.

Goal and objectives

Goal: Identify evolving local trends in how work is done, workers’ needs, workforce trends, and workplace requirements to inform company return to office plans as well as office tenant attraction strategies.

Key objectives:

  • Survey workers to understand their needs related to in-office and remote work to strengthen retention.
  • Inform individual company return to office planning and strategies.
  • Inform regional and sub-regional tenant attraction strategies.


  • Report: A comprehensive web report, summarizing regional and sub-regional trends related to work activities, worker needs, and workplace adaptation. Individualized company results and briefing for employers (assuming minimum workforce participation).
  • Forum: EDC will organize a forum for a broad audience in Q3 2024 to disseminate the region-wide results.
  • Presentations: EDC’s Research Bureau will present the data and analysis to stakeholder audiences, including EDC’s board of directors, HR Forum, and Economic Development Committee as well as to local associations including SHRM San Diego, NAIOP San Diego Chapter, Downtown San Diego Partnership.
  • Promotions: News release highlighting aggregated study results to local media. Active social media across EDC channels, plus e-communications including Good News of the Week and Quarterly Economic Snapshot.

We need your input. To participate in the study or sponsor, contact our team:

Eduardo Velasquez
Eduardo Velasquez

Sr. Director, Research & Economic Development

Q3 2023: San Diego’s remote work policy and the impact on commercial real estate

Each quarter, EDC’s Research Bureau releases its Economic Snapshot to analyze key economic indicators in San Diego’s economy. Read on as we take a closer look at how remote work trends are reshaping the workplace and the broader economy.

Remote first work

As the cost of living in San Diego continues to outpace compensation, remote work flexibility has emerged as a valuable incentive for job seekers—often, the most valuable. With San Diego median home prices reaching an all-time high of $1 million in Q3, working remotely opens affordable housing markets to employees without being limited by geographic constraints. Meanwhile, this allows employers to hire out-of-county or even out-of-state, increasing the pool of talent available to them.

Even still, employers grapple with concerns about the potential impact on employee productivity, leading to a spectrum of opinions on the efficacy of remote schedules. Yet, cutting overhead costs by adopting fully remote schedules has become an attractive possibility for firms.

SANDAG’s recent report on Remote Work Policies and Practices shows how the percentage of businesses that offer remote work options to their employees jumped from 27 percent pre-pandemic to 47 percent during, and 57 percent post-pandemic. This has had an obvious and indelible impact on commercial real estate demand.

What this means for real estate now

In the Q3 2023 Economic Snapshot, we saw that San Diego office real estate experienced its fifth consecutive quarter of negative net absorption, which reflects the difference between space that became physically occupied and space that became vacant. When this number is negative, it means more space became vacant than occupied during the quarter, perhaps because tenants decided not to renew leases as they became due.

San Diego’s negative net absorption trend is noteworthy for two reasons:

  1. Despite net absorption remaining negative for five quarters, asking rates remained at an all-time high throughout, reaching $3.31 per square foot in Q3 2023. Typically, asking rates would be expected to decrease in response to a slower demand for office space.
  1. Since 2010, the only other time the region has experienced five consecutive quarters of negative net absorption was during the onset of the pandemic, from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

Find this and other data trends in our interactive dashboard.

We know that office spaces became unoccupied during the pandemic due to public health mandates and safety protocols. But why are we seeing this trend again and what could be causing it? The answer could be observed in the previous graph, leading firms to cut office space.

While net absorption remained negative in Q3 2023, the number recovered greatly and indicated potential recovery from past quarters. In Q3, the office market experienced 37,868 square feet of negative net absorption, compared to 159,262 square feet in Q2 and 874,036 in Q1.

The negative net absorption in Q3 was primarily driven by larger office vacancies in areas such as UTC, Kearny Mesa, and Del Mar Heights, according to CBRE’s quarterly report. Similarly, the highest asking rates in Q3 were found in UTC, Torrey Pines, and Del Mar Heights. The low tenant demand and the continuing construction of office spaces combined might generate more available, yet unoccupied space.

Looking ahead and how you can get involved

As the San Diego region anticipates continued changes in commercial real estate, EDC is scoping a unique study of the local workforce in which we’ll survey the employees of large and small companies throughout the county. The first local study of scale on workforce requirements and desires (to our knowledge), our goal is to identify evolving local trends in how work is done, workers’ needs, workforce trends, and workplace requirements to inform company return to office plans as well as office tenant attraction strategies.

Updated survey work and studies combined with tools such as EDC’s Investment Map can help private and public investors better understand workforce and workplace trends when making commercial real estate development decisions that benefit both employers and workers. To get involved, contact EDC’s Senior Director of Research and Economic Development:

Eduardo Velasquez
Eduardo Velasquez

Sr. Director, Research & Economic Development


You might also like to read:

San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q3 2023

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.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q3 2023 economic data:


Key findings from Q3 2023:

  1. TALENT: Job growth continues as job postings slow down. In Q3, employment grew 1.9 percent compared to a year ago, in line with the state but behind San Diego’s most peer metros. The labor force has recovered from Q2 losses, adding nearly 13,000 participants this quarter and up 2.8 percent from last year. In contrast, the number of unique job postings advertised by regional employers totaled 106,521 in Q3, a 32 percent decrease compared to this quarter last year.
  2. AFFORDABILITY: Median home price reached an all-time highSan Diego’s median home price ranks second among peer metros, behind only San Francisco. Home prices increased an additional eight percent during the last year, while home sales fell 25 percent. Year-over-year home sales have declined since August 2021. The lack of housing supply and the reduced number of transactions has resulted in record lack of affordability.
  3. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Office space occupancy declines for fifth consecutive quarter. In other words, more office space has become unoccupied than leased for over a year. However, net absorption is currently trending in the right direction. In Q3, the office market experienced 37,868 square feet of negative absorption, compared to 159,262 square feet in Q2 and 874,036 in Q1. The only other time San Diego experienced this degree of negative net absorption was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out our most recent Economic Snapshot below

Go to snapshot

Q2: San Diego’s new unemployment numbers and what they mean.

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 labor force, unemployment, and talent supply.

As 2022 came to a close, San Diego celebrated a relatively low unemployment rate at three percent. However, across just a few months, the region saw a slight bump up to four percent in the second quarter of 2023. What does this increase signify, and why is it essential to comprehend the broader employment landscape in San Diego?

Understanding San Diego’s labor force involves more than just examining unemployment rates. It requires considering historical context, peer metro comparisons, labor force dynamics, seasonal trends, and the complex factors shaping employment and workforce trends.

San Diego’s unemployment rate has hovered between 2.9 percent and four percent over the past five years, with the exception of the pandemic-induced peak of 13.6 percent. Since then, San Diego’s unemployment rate has been steadily declining until its first increase in Q1 2023.

With this context in mind, here are some different ways we approach the data.


To gain a comprehensive understanding of local employment, we compare San Diego’s numbers with its peer metros and the nation. In the first two quarters of the year, the U.S. and our peer metros saw an increase in unemployment rates after continuously declining throughout 2022. See how San Diego stacks up in our interactive dashboard, where you will notice similar trend lines in most comparisons. Still, the region ranked amongst the highest increases in this national trend, following Riverside, St. Louis, and San Francisco.


Employment in specific industry sectors can fluctuate due to seasonal factors. For instance, in Q2 2023, tourism and hospitality experienced an expected seasonal spike of 7,100 jobs as San Diego prepares to receive tourists in the spring. To account for these fluctuations, analysts often examine the percentage change from the previous year. In Q2 2023, there was a three percent growth in employment compared to the previous year, slightly exceeding the typical annual employment growth rate (ranging between 1.2 and 2.5 percent) and indicating anticipated recovery from the pandemic.


One crucial aspect to consider when analyzing rising unemployment rates is the overall labor force composition. Sometimes, an increasing unemployment rate can be attributed to a growing labor force as individuals re-enter or join the workforce. This usually results in temporarily higher unemployment rates, as these individuals search for employment and the hiring process takes time. However, for Q2 2023, this was not the case. Data indicates a decline in the total labor force while the number of unemployed has risen. This phenomenon contributed to the increase in the unemployment rate during the first half of 2023. To put this into perspective, Q2 2023 saw a labor force decline of 25,889 since the last quarter. In contrast to the year before, the labor force declined by 8,966 in Q2 2022. While historical data indicate that labor force declines at the beginning of Q2 are typical, this year’s Q2 decrease marked the highest in the past five years, even exceeding Q2 2020 when employment was first affected by the pandemic.


Here are some factors that can collectively help explain San Diego’s labor force fluctuations:

Remote work trends. The widespread adoption of remote work during the pandemic has led to a preference for flexibility and convenience. As a result, workers may seek remote-only or hybrid work arrangements, potentially contributing to the “great resignation” phenomenon. This trend also has implications for the use—or lack thereof—of office space and commercial real estate. Office asking rates have remained high after the pandemic spike ($3.26 per square foot), while rates for industrial space have been more stable.

Rising cost of living. While San Diego is home to top universities producing talent in key economic sectors such as innovation, the increasing cost of living may drive workers away from the region. EDC’s Inclusive Growth framework highlights the disconnection between the unaffordable housing market and compensation. Competitive wages are a must to keep our locally produced talent in the region.

Limited talent supply. There are more open positions in San Diego than unemployed people available to fill them—on par with the national trend. Employers are responding to talent supply challenges by prioritizing inclusive talent recruitment. Job opportunities are opened to a new subset of the unemployed population, expanding the talent pool for employers. To do this, there have been employer-driven efforts to reevaluate training requirements and accessibility, as well as amplified focus on opportunity populations. On the educators side, efforts are being made to leverage the bi-national comparative advantage to fill high-demand positions with talent produced in the Baja region by collaborating with universities across the border. UC San Diego’s ENLACE summer research program invites high school and university students from the Baja region to participate in research programs at UC San Diego.

While the unemployment rate itself is not always sufficient to indicate concern, historical economic context and analysis helps us gather the following takeaways:

  • High-level unemployment numbers for Q2 2023 are in alignment with historical and national trends, as most peer metros experienced similar increases. In other words, San Diego is not experiencing any unusual trend activity.
  • However, labor force composition trends should command our attention in upcoming quarters, being that Q2’s labor force number decreased significantly compared to the past five years.
  • Total labor force and unemployment numbers are particularly important to track given the region’s talent supply. Lower unemployment rates can generally indicate a limited talent pool; however, this quarter’s unemployment rate increase was mostly due to people exiting the labor force, not people joining and looking for jobs.

Explore the data in our Economic Snapshot.

EDC report: 2023 Inclusive Growth Progress

Report: San Diego affordability crisis threatens latest jobs and talent gains

Today, San Diego Regional EDC released its 2023 Inclusive Growth Progress Report. With updated data and bold objectives set around increasing the number of quality jobs, skilled talent, and thriving households critical to the region’s competitiveness, the report measures San Diego’s growth and recovery, and spotlights the greatest threats to prosperity.


Making the business case for inclusion, EDC releases this annual report to track progress toward the region’s 2030 goals: 50,000 new quality jobs* in small businesses; 20,000 skilled workers per year; and 75,000 newly thriving households**. Since its launch in 2017, the initiative has rallied public commitments from County, City, academic, and private sector leaders who are leveraging the Inclusive Growth framework to inform their priorities, tactics, and resource allocation. While much about the economy remains uncertain, intentional and consistent efforts by a diverse set of regional stakeholders will be key to achieving these goals.

“Large and small businesses, nonprofits, and government all play important roles in building a strong local economy and expanding economic inclusion,” said Jennie Brooks, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and EDC Board Chair. “Booz Allen is empowering its employees with training in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and is committed to helping prepare local, diverse San Diegans for tech careers of the future. We are proud to partner with local nonprofits and small businesses to make advanced technology broadly accessible to students and create a supportive ecosystem in San Diego to drive inclusive economic growth.”


Over the past decade, the San Diego region has experienced a notable upswing in general prosperity, standard of living, average wages, and productivity, including a full recovery from the pandemic across virtually every sector. Yet, these gains have not been evenly distributed.

In terms of racial, geographic, and overall inclusion, San Diego has slipped; the pandemic has hit lower-income households and minority communities hardest. The relative poverty rate has increased while median earnings and the household wage gap between white and non-white populations has widened. Record-level inflation has hit struggling San Diego households hard, and high operating costs have degraded the ability of businesses to attract and retain talent.

Despite these obstacles, San Diego is once again making headway on the quality jobs and skilled worker goals; see charts below. 2021 saw an uptick in small business jobs as well as the highest increase in post-secondary education (PSE) completions in more than a decade.

However, decreasing affordability coupled with uneven economic prosperity not only threatens that progress but indeed may mean that San Diego falls even further behind its peer metros on overall prosperity. The region now needs to add 125,000 newly thriving households by the end of the decade to meet the goal.

The region’s expensive and limited housing market has exacerbated inflation across all categories, with fewer than 44 percent of San Diego households considered thriving. The affordability crisis will primarily impact Black and Latino households, of which more than half are low-income, and continue to challenge employers’ ability to attract and retain talent—posing the single greatest threat to the region’s economic growth.

“While EDC’s report demonstrates San Diego’s remarkable resilience in the face of the pandemic, our jobs and talent gains are being diminished by the region’s affordability crisis. Unless we get this right, San Diego will always be catching up,” said Lisette Islas, Executive VP and Chief Impact Officer at MAAC, and EDC Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth.

Join the movement

Using a demand-driven, employer-led, and outcomes-based approach, San Diego private, public, and community leaders must deploy creative solutions to achieve these 2030 goals. EDC invites the community to join us at one of two upcoming webinars to learn more about the data and how to get involved:

“We’re seeing HR departments dissolve degree requirements, big buyers redirecting procurement spend, governments streamlining permitting processes, and developers prioritizing on-site childcare. This is the level of regional adoption required to move the needle on inclusion, and EDC is committed to continuing to tell a data-driven story to make the business imperative clear. San Diego’s future depends on it,” said Teddy Martinez, Senior Manager, Research, San Diego Regional EDC.

Read the full report at 2023.inclusivesd.org, and all previous updates at progress.inclusiveSD.org

The initiative is sponsored by Bank of America, City of San Diego, County of San Diego, JPMorgan Chase & Co., San Diego Gas & Electric, Seaport San Diego, Southwest Airlines, and University of San Diego Knauss School of Business.

more at inclusiveSD.org

*Quality job = $45K wages + healthcare benefits.

**Thriving household = total income covers cost of living for renter- or owner-occupied households, at $79K and $122K respectively.

San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q2 2023

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.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q2 2023 economic data:

Key findings from Q2 2023:

  1. Unemployment grows as people exit the labor force. Unemployment in San Diego began to rise at the turn of the new year, reaching four percent in Q2 2023. On par with the national rate, most peer metros also saw unemployment rates rise in Q2. In San Diego, the labor market has softened as the number of unemployed people increased by 3,751 while the labor force declined by 25,889 since last quarter. In contrast to Q2 2022, the labor force declined by 8,966 and unemployment decreased by 3,316.
  2. VC resumes pre-pandemic upward trend. San Diego’s total Q2 VC exceeded last quarter but lags compared to Q2 2022. The largest recipient of VC this quarter was Avenzo Therapeutics at $196 million; the company is building a pipeline in preclinical or early clinical antibody-drug conjugates, bispecifics, and small molecules. This deal marks the 18th largest VC investment secured in San Diego since 2019. The region closed a total of 227 VC deals in 2022, compared to 96 deals in the first half of 2023.
  3. Office space asking rates grow while industrial asking rates decline. Office asking rates reached an all-time high of $3.26 per square foot, even as vacancy rates continued to increase over the past four quarters to 14 percent. On the other hand, industrial real estate has responded to a 0.5 percent increase in vacancy rate by offering lower asking prices of $1.66 per square foot. These more stabilized rates may be in part because industrial work requires employees be in-person, unchallenged by remote work trends.

Check out our most recent Economic Snapshot below

Go to snapshot

A tool for inclusive growth: The San Diego Investment Map

New digital tool to help inform inclusive growth in housing, childcare, industry

Today, EDC launched the San Diego Investment Map, a new digital tool to inform strategic, inclusive growth across the region. As part of EDC’s Inclusive Growth Initiative, the Investment Map provides a first-of-its-kind interactive data tool to support decision making across core facets of the local economy: childcare, middle-income housing, and corporate site selection.

Pulling a variety of datasets into an easy-to-use dashboard, the San Diego Investment Map allows users to explore San Diego County through a different lens. The interactive dashboards include data and analyses, and serve to shine a light on the region’s greatest threats to economic competitiveness: a jobs and housing imbalance, among other affordability challenges.

Key takeaways:

  • CHILDCARE: San Diego has 327 childcare ‘deserts’ spread throughout the region, making up nearly half of all census tracts. The Investment Map can pinpoint gaps in childcare supply and help narrow sites for prioritization.
  • HOUSING: Seventy-four percent of San Diego’s population is middle- to low-income, yet only 2.5 percent of permitted housing development needed in the region accommodates these groups. The Investment Map can identify zones with existing building incentives, community plan updates, as well as new commercial development where workforce housing may be needed.
  • INDUSTRY: There are 15.6 million rentable square feet of commercial space being developed across the region, predominately concentrated in northern San Diego. While this includes enough office space for more than 42,000 employees, most workers live instead in the southern and eastern parts of the region. The Investment Map can assist companies in site selection based on occupation hubs, commute trends, and other infrastructure assets that meet their operational needs.

“The San Diego Investment Map serves as a tool for local policy makers, developers, and employers to make informed and deliberate decisions to prioritize the region’s inclusive growth. Using geographic storytelling, the map makes obvious the gaps in our economy—limited childcare; disjointed development both in terms of location and income-level; rising costs with no end in sight. Data-driven solutions to alleviate these challenges will safeguard San Diego’s competitiveness,” said Teddy Martinez, Sr. Research Manager, San Diego Regional EDC.

Explore the Map

About the Inclusive Growth Initiative

The innovation economy will continue to make San Diego more prosperous than many of its peers, but it is not accessible to the fastest-growing segment of the region’s population. This mismatch between our regional assets and our economy’s future needs will consistently erode the region’s competitiveness.

Launched in 2018, EDC’s Inclusive Growth Initiative serves to communicate these challenges, making the business case for economic inclusion across San Diego. By 2030, County, City, private sector and academic leaders have pledged their commitments to the initiative’s goals: 50,000 new quality jobs in small businesses, 20,000 new skilled workers annually, and 75,000 newly thriving households. See how we’re tracking here.

The San Diego Investment Map marks a new tool for employers and stakeholders to engage in this work, specifically tackling the thriving households goal.

“Inclusion is an economic and business imperative. It’s more than DE&I in the workplace—it’s about ensuring all San Diegans have the resources and infrastructure needed to thrive in this region. The Investment Map highlights all the work we still have to do to make that possible,” said Lisette Islas, EDC vice chair of Inclusive Growth, and EVP and Chief Impact Officer of MAAC.

The San Diego Investment Map was authored by San Diego Regional EDC, with support and counsel provided by Buzz Woolley and Mary Walshok.

Learn more about inclusive growth

Explore the Map

Interested in a demo, or getting involved? Contact EDC:

Teddy Martinez
Teddy Martinez

Sr. Manager, Research


San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q1 2023

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.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q1 2023 economic data:

Key findings from Q1 2023:

  1. OFFICE SPACE: Firms look to cut costs as remote work remains popular. In Q1, office space experienced a huge decline in net absorption, meaning more offices became vacant than occupied. The last time San Diego experienced this level of negative net absorption was in Q4 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Downtown (92101) continues to experience rising vacancy rates since 2020. With asking rates at an all-time high of $3.25 per sq. ft. and employees still interested in remote work, office tenants are reducing their footprint as leases come due.
  2. JOBS: San Diego leads employment growth in California. With 3.3 percent job growth compared to a year ago, San Diego outpaced California peers and stands amongst fast-growing metros in the country. San Diego adds 50,300 more jobs compared to Q1 2022. The strongest growth locally came from Government and Leisure and Hospitality, adding 3,000 and 2,600 jobs respectively. Meanwhile, Trade, Transportation and Utilities shed 7,000 jobs.
  3. HOUSING: Home prices cool from last year’s highs. San Diego’s median home price reached $915,000 in Q1, which experienced an expected seasonal increase. However, prices are down 3.7 percent compared to a year ago. The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) in San Diego has remained at 15 percent for the past three quarters, making San Diego one of the most unaffordable counties in California.

Check out our most recent Economic Snapshot below

Go to snapshot

San Diego’s Economic Snapshot: Q4 2022

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.

EDC explains San Diego’s Q4 2022 economic data:

Key findings from Q4 2022:

  1. EMPLOYMENT: San Diego wraps Q4 with unemployment below pre-pandemic levels, at 2.9 percent.Even with a decreasing unemployment rate, San Diego continues to face a talent shortage and struggles to fill jobs in top industries like Life Sciences and Tech. For instance, the Communication Technologies and Manufacturing employment sectors are 800 and 3,700 jobs away from pre-pandemic levels, respectively.
  2. HOUSING: Median home price continues to drop through Q4, reaching $850,000. However, San Diego still ranks second most expensive among the most populous metro areas. On the housing supply side, a total of 9,443 housing construction permits were granted in 2022, which has remained relatively unchanged for the past three years. The housing affordability crisis has driven employers to take on the challenge directly. UCSD purchased an apartment building in Downtown’s East Village to provide housing for in a location near the MTS Blue Line Trolley to connect both the La Jolla campus and Hillcrest Medical Center.
  3. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Vacancy grows in office and industrial space in Q4. Trends show a negative net absorption for both office and industrial space for the past two quarters, indicating a decline in demand for commercial real estate space. This could be happening because of the continuing shift towards remote work and the lack of affordable commercial space. In Q4, asking rent prices reached an all-time high of $3.23 per square foot, potentially turning remote work into a more attractive option for employers.

Check out our most recent Economic Snapshot below

Go to snapshot