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North County's Economy Hit Hard By Recession But Recovering

Hundreds of business leaders attend the second North County Economic Summit at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, March 10, 2015.
Alison St John
Hundreds of business leaders attend the second North County Economic Summit at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, March 10, 2015.
North County's Economy Hit Hard By Recession But Recovering
North County's Economy Hit Hard By Recession But Recovering GUESTS:Carl Morgan, president and CEO, San Diego North Economic Development Council Josh Williams, president, BW Research

YOU'RE LISTENING TO MIDDAY EDITION ON K PBS I'M TOM FUDGE. YOU MIGHT NOT SEE SAN DIEGO'S NORTH COUNTY AS HAVING AN ECONOMY THAT'S SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF SAN DIEGO BUT SOME PEOPLE DO IN FACT TODAY BUSINESS LEADERS GATHERED TO HEAR A REPORT THAT WAS PREPARED FOR THE SECOND ANNUAL NORTH COUNTY ECONOMIC SUMMIT. IT SHOWS THAT NORTH COUNTY WAS HIT HARDER THAN THE REST OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY BY THE GREAT RECESSION AND NOW IS ON THE REBOUND. SOME SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY ARE DOING BETTER'S THAN THE OTHERS FOR JOINING ME TODAY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN NORTH COUNTY ECONOMIC WISE OUR CARL MORGAN AND JOSH WILLIAMS. CARL MORGAN'S PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE SAN DIEGO NORTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. AND JOSH WILLIAMS IS PRESIDENT OF BW RESEARCH WHICH DID THE REPORT ON NORTH COUNTY. THANKS FOR COMING IN. THANKS FOR HAVING US. JOSH WHAT ARE SOME FACTS THAT CAN PUT NORTH COUNTY IN PERSPECTIVE. HOW MANY JOBS EXIST IN NORTH COUNTY. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT NORTH COUNTY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FROM CAMP PENDLETON DOWN TO DELMAR AND ACROSS THE 56. THAT'S THE SOUTHERN BOUNDARY THAT WE ARE REFERRING TO AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE. ABOUT 460,000 JOBS. NORTH COUNTY REPRESENTS ABOUT ONE THIRD OF SAN DIEGO COUNTIES ECONOMY. IT IS HOME TO SOME OF THE COUNTY'S MOST IMPORTANT INDUSTRY CLUSTERS. LIFE-SCIENCES, CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES, SPORTS, BREWERIES AND ALL THOSE THINGS THAT MAKE UP SAN DIEGO IT -- COUNTYS ECONOMY. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE SIZE I THINK ONE OF YOU MAKES A POINT THAT SOME STATES HAVE FEWER PEOPLE THE NORTH COUNTY. YES IT WOULD BE THE 43rd LARGEST STATE. IT IS LARGER IN TERMS OF POPULATION AND ECONOMIC OUTPUT THAN EIGHT STATES INCLUDING PLACES LIKE ALASKA AND VERMONT. MONTANA AND WYOMING. CARL, WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND HOLDING A NORTH COUNTY ECONOMIC SUMMIT? THE PURPOSE OF THAT IS TO CONVENE ALL OF THE ECONOMISTS IN NORTH COUNTY -- AND NORTH COUNTY BUSINESS OWNERS TO GET TIMELY INFORMATION TO COMPLETELY HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF WHERE WE ARE ECONOMIC WISE. GIVE A FORECAST OF WHERE WE ARE HEADED IN THE FUTURE AND PROVIDE ACCURATE AND TIMELY INFORMATION SO WE CAN BETTER ANTICIPATE THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK AND REALLY UNDERSTAND AND FOCUS AND DRILL DOWN INTO OUR KEY INDUSTRY CLUSTERS. AND YOU OBVIOUSLY THINK IT'S WORTHWHILE. IT'S HELPFUL TO ACTUALLY ISOLATE NORTH COUNTY FROM THE REST OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND EXAMINE ITS ECONOMY? YES, IT IS. NORTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL HAS A [INDISCERNIBLE]. ARE MICRO FOCUS IS NORTH COUNTY. WE SERVE 26 CITIES. THERE ARE NINE AT INC. CITIES IN THE BALANCE OR UNINCORPORATED. JUST GETTING BACK TO YOU I THINK I MENTIONED THAT NORTH COUNTY WAS ACTUALLY UP ANYTHING HIT A LITTLE BIT HARDER BY THE GREAT RECESSION AND THE BEST OF SAN DIEGO WHEN IT YOU GO THROUGH THAT A LITTLE BIT AND TELL US HOW NORTH COUNTY IS DOING. I THINK THERE'S KIND OF TWO BIG ISSUES. CYCLICALLY FROM 2007 AND 2010 NORTH COUNTY WAS HIT HARDER. WE LOST 10% -- 8% OF THE JOBS IN THE REGION. BUT YOU HAVE SEEN A RECOVERY THE LAST -- FROM 2010 TWO 2014 WE'VE RECOVERED MORE JOBS THAN THE REST OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY IN MORE THAN ORANGE COUNTY OR RIVERSIDE. THAT THE PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL EMPLOYMENT. I THINK THE REAL KEY FINDING IS THE QUALITY OF THE JOBS. THE NUMBER ONE TYPE OF JOBS WE CALL OUR TIER 1 JOBS WHICH ARE THE HIGHER-PAYING, HIGHER SKILLED JOBS. THE ECONOMY IS TRANSITIONING FROM A POPULATION SURVEY TO ONE THAT IS MORE EXPORT ORIENTED. I KNOW YOU TALK ABOUT INDUSTRY CLUSTERS IN NORTH COUNTY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THOSE 21 JOBS WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE WORKING? FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU LOOK AT LIFE-SCIENCES OR WHAT WE CALL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOMEDICAL. ABOUT 80% OF THEIR JOBS OUR TIER 1 JOBS. THEY TYPICALLY DON'T HIRE SOMEONE UNLESS YOU HAVE AT LEAST A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE IN THE AVERAGE PAY FOR THOSE POSITIONS IS TYPICALLY $90,000-$110,000 PER YEAR. THEY TEND TO GENERATE A LARGE ECONOMIC IMPACT. CARL, NOT ALL THE JOBS IN NORTH COUNTY OUR TIER 1. YOU'VE GOT A LARGE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY. WE DO. WE HAVE A GROWING WINE INDUSTRY IN NORTH COUNTY. THERE ARE BIG CLUSTERS OF THAT. AVOCADO AND OTHER -- THE CONNECTED TOURISM PIECE OF THAT WHICH INCLUDES HOSPITALITY, HOTELIERS AND WINE INDUSTRY CRAFT BREW INDUSTRY -- THOSE ARE HUGE PIECES OF THOSE 60+ THOUSAND JOBS. WHICH PARTS OF NORTH COUNTY ARE DOING WELL AND WHICH PARTS ARE NOT DOING WELL? I THINK JOSH THERE IS A SECTION OF NORTH COUNTY THAT IS NOT ENTIRELY RECOVERED? IT'S FUNNY IN SOME WAY I WOULD SAY NORTH COUNTY IS SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY BUT I THINK FOR US IN THE WORLD OF ECONOMICS WE'D LIKE TO BREAK DOWN AND SEGMENT THEM. WE BROKE UP NORTH COUNTY INTO FOUR QUADRANTS. WHEN YOU LOOK -- SO THERE WAS THE NORTH-CENTRAL COAST AND THAT'S REALLY DELMAR ANSWER NEED US. THERE'S THE NORTHERN COAST WHICH IS CARLSBAD, OCEANSIDE. WE HAVE CENTRAL WHICH IS THAT SURROUNDING AREA IN THE NORTH INLAND. LIKE YOU SAID, THE THREE REGIONS THAT ARE ALL GROWING FROM 2007 AND HAVE SEEN JOBS INCREASE EXCEPT NORTH IN ONE AND THAT IS GOING TO DROP 6% OF ITS JOBS OVER THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS. WHY IS THAT? THERE IS NO ONE SINGLE ANSWER BUT THERE ARE A FEW. PART OF IT IS THE INDUSTRY'S THAT LIVE IN NORTH INLAND. INTENDED TO BE MORE POPULATION SURVEYING WORK -- MORE CONSTRUCTION. THEY DON'T HAVE ANY INDUSTRY CLUSTER OF PLAY SO THEY HAVEN'T SEEN THE RECOVERY AS STRONG. I THINK SOME OF IT IS THE DEMOGRAPHICS. THERE'S A LOT OF OLDER RESIDENTS THAT HAVE DROPPED OUT OF THE LABOR FORCE. YOU HAVE BOTH DEMOGRAPHIC AND ECONOMIC VARIABLES AT PLAY. ONE AREA WHICH IS A HYPERION AREA -- I WAS PART -- HIGH PAYING AREA IS COMMUNICATION. JOSH, IS THAT DUE TO SOMETHING LIKE LARGE LAYOFFS AT A BIG EMPLOYER? THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION HAS SEEN DROPS ACROSS THE STATE AND ITS EVEN BEEN A LITTLE MORE PRONOUNCED IN NORTH COUNTY. I THINK SOME OF THAT IS BECAUSE WE'VE SEEN MORE OF THOSE JOBS TEND TO BE IN LARGER URBAN AREAS. SO CERTAIN PARTS OF THE BAY AREA HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE.'S BACK AN INCREASE? OUTSIDE OF THE AREA. A DEEP -- A DECREASE IN OTHER AREAS. CARL, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THESE DIFFERENT CLUSTERS? I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF ROOM TO GROW IN OUR SEVEN KEY INDUSTRY CLUSTERS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WERE ABOUT AS AN ORGANIZATION IS REALLY SPOTLIGHTING THE ASSETS AND ATTRIBUTES IN NORTH COUNTY. WE DO THAT THROUGH A HOST OF WAYS. ONE IS TO DO AN ECONOMIC SUMMIT LIKE WE DID THIS MORNING AT 450 PEOPLE BUT WE HAVE A QUARTERLY BUSINESS JOURNAL THAT WE DO DIGITALLY THAT GOES OUT TO THE REGION AND IT WILL BE GOING INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AND THAT IS THE GET NORTH COUNTY IN THE RADAR SCREEN TO INVESTORS. TO CREATE NEW JOBS AND NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY IN NORTH COUNTY. AND YOU'RE LISTENING TO MIDDAY EDITION. WERE TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND RECOVERY THAT HAPPENING IN THE NORTH COUNTY ECONOMY. CARL MORGAN'S PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAN DIEGO NORTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPER COUNSEL AND JOSH WILLIAMS IS PRESIDENT OF BW RESEARCH WHICH JUST DIDN'T ECONOMIC REPORT ON NORTH COUNTY. I WANT TO GET BACK TO THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR. IS -- THEY'VE ARE NOT HIGH-PAYING JOBS BUT IS THAT A SECTOR THAT HAS BEEN PRETTY STABLE OVER THE YEARS? OR ARE THEY BEING HURT BY THIS DROUGHT THAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH? ONE OF THE BIG -- ONE OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT IS THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. TO BE HONEST AGRICULTURE IS FACING A CHALLENGE BY THE DROUGHT AND IT'S ONE THAT WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT. THE AGRICULTURE ECONOMY IN NORTH COUNTY HAS EVOLVED. IT'S SERVING MORE ORGANIC WORK COMP RESTAURANTS DIRECTLY AND I THINK THERE ARE SOME OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE POSITIVE THAT I WOULD SAY THE LARGER MACRO ECONOMIC PICTURE -- THEIR LARGER REALITY IS ARE THEY GOING TO BE ABLE TO GROW THEIR COSTS BECAUSE THERE'S NOT ENOUGH WATER? THAT'S A MORE IMMEDIATE CONCERN EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE SOME POSITIVES ON THE FOREFRONT AS WELL. CARL, ANYWHERE FROM YOU? I WOULD SAY CLEARLY WATER SCARCITY IS ON A READER SCREEN. WE HAVE 5% OF THE SNOWPACK IN THE SIERRAS AND WERE LOOKING AT SEVERE REDUCTIONS IN OUR CAPACITIES PRESENTLY. ONE OF THE SHINING LIGHTS IS THE T CELL PLANT -- DESALINATION PLANT COMING ONLINE. BUT WE STILL NEED TO BE CONSCIENTIOUS ABOUT FORECASTING WHERE WATER IS GOING TO BE BECAUSE IT HAS A DIRECT IMPACT ON OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY. WHERE HIS JOB GROWTH IN NORTH COUNTY LIKELY TO HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE? JOSH, THIS IS A QUESTION FOR YOU BECAUSE YOU CAN LOOK ALONG THE COASTAL AREAS. YOU COULD LOOK AT THE HIGHWAY 70 8/4. I SUPPOSE YOU COULD AT -- LOOK AT THE SPRINTER. SO ONE OF THE THINGS WE DID IN THE REPORT WAS SPENT A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT PATENT DATA AND LOOKING AT VENTURE CAPITAL. WHERE OUR PEOPLE SPENDING THE MONEY? INVESTING IN STARTUPS PARTICULAR. THE TWO INDUSTRIES THAT JUMPED OUT IN TERMS OF MORE ACCOUNTABLE -- NORTH COUNTY WAS AN INDUSTRY WE CALL ICT OR INFORMATION INDICATION TECHNOLOGIES. THIS IS ANOTHER TERM FOR HIGH-TECH FIRMS THAT ARE DOING EVERYTHING FROM SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS TO NEW SOFTWARE DESIGN. NORTH COUNTY HAS SEEN A BIG JUMP IN THE VENTURE CAPITAL OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS IN THAT AREA SO I EXPECT THAT'S AN AREA WE WILL SEE GROWTH. THE LIFE SCIENCES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY IS ALREADY ONE THAT IS ESTABLISHED AND HAS SEEN REALLY STRONG GROWTH -- OVER 20% GROWTH OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS AND THE OTHER ONE THAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT IN SPORTS AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. THAT IS ONE THAT HIGHLIGHTS QUALITY-OF-LIFE AND SOME OF THOSE ATTRIBUTES THAT NORTH COUNTY IS KNOWN FOR. CALLAWAY GOLF STILL DOING OKAY? YELP -- LAST I CHECKED. I WAS CALLAWAY GOLF DOING? THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY DOING WELL. CALLAWAY TAILOR-MADE ARE TWO OF OUR SHINING STARS IN NORTH COUNTY. CLEARLY IN TERMS OF THE DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE I THINK OVER THE NEXT 10 TO 15 YEARS THE 70 8/4 OR -- THOSE CITIES THAT LINE IT ARE GOING TO REALIZE MOST -- WITHIN THEIR BUSINESS OFFICE PARKS. THAT'S WHERE MOST OF OUR JOBS AND INCREASED ECONOMY IS GOING TO COME FROM. WE ARE ALSO GOING TO SEE A LOT OF GROWTH AND ARE CONNECTED TOURISM INDUSTRY. THIS IS CLEARLY LIVE AND WORK IN A VACATION DESTINATION. IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO BE AND A LOT OF PEOPLE COME HERE ON VACATION. WE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. BUT THAT'S BECAUSE WE WORK IN WITH YOUR. WERE DETERS GO IN NORTH COUNTY? THEME PARKS. THE BEACH. CYCLING. QUALITY-OF-LIFE. HIKING. LEGOLAND. ALL OF THOSE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE SEEING IN TERMS OF THE BREWERIES BEING A DRAW. GOLFING IS A DRAW. AT THE END OF THE DAY THE BEACH -- IT'S HARD TO BEAT THE BEACHES. WHAT IS HOPS HIGHWAY? I'LL LET YOU TALK ABOUT THAT. LAST YEAR WE DID BECAUSE CRAFT WERE INDUSTRY IS SUCH A BIG BOOMING INDUSTRY AND REALLY A FABRIC OF OUR CONNECTED TOURISM. WE'VE GOT OVER 100 BREWERS IN THE COUNTY AND OVER 50 IN NORTH COUNTY. SO WE DID AN ECONOMIC SYMPOSIUM DEALING WITH CRAFT BREWERS AND WE PRODUCT GROUP OF PEOPLE TOGETHER AT THE COMMUNITY CENTER AND WE HAD A CONVERSATION ABOUT CRAFT BREWERY. WE DID A NATIONAL UNIVERSITY STUDY A PARTNERSHIP WITH THEM TO SPOTLIGHT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CRAFT GROUP AND ANCILLARY SERVICES. CLEARLY IT'S A GROWTH INDUSTRY. FROM THAT WE DID A MAP THAT SHOWS HOPS HIGHWAY AND IT BACK TO OR ALL OF THOSE BREWERIES ARE. THAT'S WHERE THAT PHRASE CAME FROM. YOU'RE LISTENING TO MIDWAY ADDITION. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMIC FORTUNES OF THESE COUNTY RIGHT NOW. EARLIER I MENTIONED THE SPRINTER AND MAYBE PEOPLE LISTENING THOUGHT THAT I WAS SPEAKING A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE. WHAT'S THE SPRINTER? THE SPRINTER IS A LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM THAT GOES FROM ESCONDIDO TO OCEANSIDE. I'M CURIOUS ABOUT THAT. HAVE WE SEEN ANY RETAIL DEVELOPMENT FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE SPRINTER LINE? MOST RECENTLY YOU'LL SEE A PROJECT THAT HAS COME UP OUT OF THE GROUND AND PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SPRINTER. CLEARLY THAT'S THE OPPORTUNITY FOR US IN NORTH COUNTY TO DO A HIGHER DENSITY RESIDENTIAL RIGHT TO CREATE MORE AFFORDABLE UNITS FOR OUR WORKING FAMILIES AND FOR OUR USE. I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MORE AND MORE DEVELOPMENT ALONG THAT LINE. WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH TO DO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH COUNTY? WE WORK WITH ALL OF THEM. K - 12 ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE FOUR-YEAR UNIVERSITIES. MOST OF THEM ARE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS SO WE SEE THEM AS BIG PARTNERS AS WE GO FORWARD. ONE OF THE THINGS WE WANT TO DO THIS YEAR WITH THE EDUCATORS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS REALLY CONVENE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE WORLD OF WORK AND TALK ABOUT THE CURRENT SKILL SET NEEDS AND THEN FORECAST WHAT THE FUTURE SKILL NEEDS ARE. WHAT ARE THE SKILL GAPS? WE KNOW WE'RE NOT CREATING ENOUGH ENGINEERS FOR THE BIOTECH AND HIGH TECH THAT IS ONE. THE OTHER IS WITH ALL OF THESE INNOVATIONS AND NEW ECONOMIES THERE'S A NEED FOR SPECIALIZED EDUCATION. SO WE WANT TO WORK WITH THOSE EDUCATORS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO MAKE SURE THOSE ARE DIALED IN AND WE FORECAST WAS PROPERLY TO KEEP OUR WORLD OF WORK RUNNING SMOOTHLY AND TO KEEP OUR COMPANY'S GROWING. WHAT ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO BE WATCHING FOR IN 2015? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT? I THINK ONE THING -- JOSH KOLBER YOU CONCERNED ABOUT? WE WANT TO CONTINUE AS THE TRANSITION FOR NORTH COUNTY -- COUNTYS ECONOMY AND POPULATION SERVING TO ONE THAT IS MORE INNOVATIVE. THAT GENERATES PATENTS AND INNOVATIVE ACTIVITY. DOES THAT CONTINUE? IS LIFE SCIENCES AND SPORTS AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AND ICT DO THOSE GROW LIKE WE EXPECT? DOES THE WATER SCARCITY HAVE AN IMPACT ON OUR CONNECTED TOURISM LIKE WE ARE AFRAID IT MIGHT. ARE WE ABLE TO DEVELOP SOME OF THESE NEW TRAINING AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND BETTER SERVE OUR EMPLOYERS? BACK WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT OR THE COUNTY -- NORTH COUNTY BEING A BEDROOM COMMUNITY AND YOU REMINDED ME OF SOMETHING THAT WE EXPORT A LOT OF OUR EXPERTISE. A LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN NORTH COUNTY DON'T WORK IN NORTH COUNTY. THAT'S CORRECT. YOU SEE THE TIGHT ON THE FIVE -- FREEWAYS GOING TO NORTH ORANGE COUNTY. CONVERSELY YOU SEE THE TIDE COME BACK IN THE EVENING. THERE IS AN EXPORT OF JOBS. I THINK AS WE WORK TOGETHER OVER TIME AND COLLABORATE IN PARTNER WE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DIAL THAT IN AND CREATE MORE JOBS HERE SO WAS FOLKS ARE COMMUTING OUT. IS A LAST QUESTION FOR CARL, HOW DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SEE NORTH COUNTY BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE IN SAN DIEGO MIGHT THINK ALL UP IN THE NORTH THEY ARE ALL RICH OR MAYBE THEY LOOK AT THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN THINK THERE'S A LOT OF MIGRANT WORKERS WHO LIVE THERE. HOW DO PEOPLE SEE NORTH COUNTY AND HOW WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO SEE NORTH COUNTY? I WOULD LIKE NORTH COUNTY TO BE VIEWED AS THE HUB OF INNOVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY. NORTH COUNTY WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR KEY INDUSTRY CLUSTERS AND WHAT IS GOING UPRIVER IS A PHENOMENAL STORY. WITH THE EDUCATION THAT WE HAVE YEAR AND QUALITY-OF-LIFE IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY -- IT'S NOTHING BUT SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR NORTH COUNTY. WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE NORTH COUNTY ECONOMY. MY GUESS SEVEN CARL MORGAN AND JOSH WILLIAMS. JOSH WILLIAMS IS PRESIDENT OF BW RESEARCH WHICH DID AN ECONOMIC REPORT ON NORTH COUNTY. JOSH, THANKS FOR COMING IN. X-RAY HAVING US. CARL MORGAN IS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAN DIEGO NORTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL . THANKS, CARL. THANKS SO MUCH.

North County was hit harder than San Diego as a whole by the recession but is also rebounding faster in some areas.

That’s just one of the conclusions in an economic report produced for the second North County Economic Summit.

Several hundred business leaders will gather for the event Tuesday at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, hosted by the San Diego North Economic Development Council.

2015 San Diego North Economic Development Council Prospects Report
2015 San Diego North Economic Development Council Prospects Report
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North County’s Economy Hit Hard By Recession But Recovering
That's one of the conclusions of a report released Tuesday as part of the second North County Economic Summit being held in Carlsbad.

North County has a population of almost 1.2 million people. It contains nine cities as well as large, unincorporated areas of the county. As the report points out, this is a larger population than in eight U.S. states.

The economic drivers in the region are seven industry clusters that include clean technology, biotech and biomedical devices, tourism and agriculture, health care, and sports lifestyles.

Carl Morgan, CEO of the San Diego North Economic Development Council, said these industry clusters have created thousands of jobs since 2010.

“We actually added 17,000 jobs in North San Diego County," he said.

The region’s high paid jobs have increased faster than in San Diego as a whole, Morgan said.

“That’s a 10 percent increase in the top tier higher paying, higher skill jobs,” he said. “It was 8 percent in the rest of San Diego County and 6 percent in the U.S. — so we’re substantially higher than the U.S. and a few percentage points higher than San Diego County in general.”

However, the downside is that middle-class jobs have not increased as fast as high or low paid jobs.

Challenges facing North County are high home prices, water shortages and traffic gridlock.

Morgan said he expects most of the growth in North County to happen along the state Route 78 corridor because more land in business parks is available there than in the coastal cities.

The summit will include panels on land and capital for North County’s industry clusters, education in an innovation economy, and how to develop tomorrow's talent.

Key findings from the report

• North County experienced a 5 percent increase in office inventory with a corresponding 10 percent increase in average rents from 2010 to 2014, while over the same period of time the rest of San Diego County saw a 2 percent decline in office inventories and only a 5 percent increase in average rents.

• San Diego County ranked second among all U.S. counties in 2013, with a total of 4,805 approved utility patents.

• Start-up investment was responsible for the majority of all reported investment in the North County region, with companies receiving over half a billion dollars in venture, seed or angel investments in 2014 (37 percent of all start-up funding in San Diego County).

• North County information and communication technology start-ups received more funding than their counterparts in the rest of San Diego County ($138 million) in 2014.

• Health care and manufacturing expanded while agriculture and communication technology contracted.

• North County residents are a higher educated population proportionally when compared to the rest of San Diego County and the state. Almost two of every five individuals (25 years of age and older) in North County possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher (38 percent), which indicates a vibrant talent pool for businesses in the region.

• North County has a larger resident workforce than the total amount of workers employed in the region (resident workforce: 510,000; employed in the region: 459,000). This signifies that the North County is generally an exporter of higher-skilled workers.

• Nearly half (48 percent) of all households in North County accumulated at least $75,000 in yearly income (rest of San Diego County: 38 percent; California: 41 percent).

• Thirty-nine percent of homeowners with a mortgage and nearly half of renters (49 percent) allocated more than a third of their household earnings to shelter in 2012.

• Almost 409,000 workers (87 percent of all workers 16 and over) drove to work alone in 2013, while 53,400 carpooled, and 8,500 took public transportation on a regular basis.

• More than one-third of all commuters 16 years of age and older (36 percent ) in the North County spend at least 30 minutes or more getting to work.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.