Affordability Report Ranks San Diego County Near The Bottom
It is traditional on Labor Day to check in on the health of the labor market. San Diego seems to be in pretty good shape the site -- besides a slight uptick in unemployment. Are rate is better than it was last summer and it be the state employment neighbors. A lingering concern about jobs in San Diego is that they don't pay enough to make ends meet in our high cost city. President and CEO of the workforce partnership is with us. Welcome to the program. Could you give us a snapshot of the labor market in San Diego? Which are doing well and which could be doing better? It's a good question with such a dynamic labor market we have swings in every direction with our sectors from time to time. The overall health has been coming on the it ticked up a little bit in the last month but it is holding steady and improving across the board. We have such a vibrant economy with so many different sectors from the innovation sector with life-sciences and biotech and we have a huge hospitality sector that we are seeing health across all sectors but even with those indications looking very positive we have to keep in mind that there are so many people who are unemployed and underemployed and are looking for that next step in the career ladder.. We are helping people get where they are and to the middle skills and where they have a demand for those careers in apprenticeships and trade and from the high end jobs as we know within our region with information and communication technologies to the entry level or lower skilled or lesser experienced positions in the hospitality or service sector. We are trying to help people get into better careers online. There was a 2/10 of a % increase in unemployment from June to July this year. After many months of declining in climate numbers. What accounts for the increase. Largely seasonal because things will swing pretty dramatically with the increase in summer employment and the hospitality sector and just the ever-changing challenges that we have within our region because we have such a vibrant and diverse number of sectors across the region. It is largely cyclical and seasonal. You see it as a sign of rising unemployment throughout the year? It is really just the seasonal impact of what is going on during the summer and the large swings that can happen because of being a large tourist destination and just a swings that are going on. The health has been steadily improving across the board. The numbers as you mentioned are better than across the state and really in line of what is going on across the country. We are fortunate to have so many diverse sectors in the challenge here is to get people into the careers and if they are pursuing new lines within their career path that's where we can help them through a variety of training so they can get into these wonderful careers that exist within the region. There are so many unfilled jobs that come back to the skill set. It comes back to the skills that the choice -- job Sheckler -- seeker may not have because we can provide training and training vouchers to get them into these different careers. And to make them aware of what's going on within our region because we have such a diverse number of sectors that are very unique. The San Diego regional Chamber of Commerce came out with a regional dashboard for San Diego and it found what most of us already know. What are some ways that we can turn that around. It was a great report and one of the takeaways is that we are better off in other regions. You would think just being in our region that it's completely unaffordable and the high cost of renting housing and the wages on average maybe because of all the different sectors not keeping in line with what the cost of living is that we are actually doing better than other parts of the country. The challenge is because of the very diverse nature and some very high and well-being positions within the information and communication technologies for example the large and diverse innovation sector but when you have a very large sector you can bring the average down for the folks that are not making the high and wages for the folks to achieve housing and disparity with their income and what it costs to live. The San Diego Council voted to increase the minimum wage. You see that having an impact on which is across the board. It will be very unique on what the impact will be because it is the great unknown. The truth is that the low wages do not make it affordable to succeed to get by within our region and to save money and move ahead. On the flip side with an employer who may have in our region that the great majority of employers so the impact will be really challenging. We feel for the employers but at the same time we know that they need to be able to make a living wage. The hope is that with more income in the region that will be spent it will lead to more opportunity for all and more income for employers and they can pay the increase in cost of living for the workers. That is the great hope. We will see how it goes. We know regions across the country have gone much further than we have already so we need to watch what is happening in those regions and hope that the impact will be the employers but the kind of income necessary but with the law now requires. Thank you Peter.
San Diegans are making lower salaries and paying higher housing costs compared to competing metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Seattle and Denver.
The study analyzed the cost of living in Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; Denver; Austin, Texas; Seattle; Boston; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Portland, Oregon. All were found to be more affordable than San Diego, with the exception of Portland.
The lack of affordability means companies are losing the nation’s top talent to competing metropolitan regions, the report states.
“The key driver to that is housing,” said Sean Karafin, executive director of economic research and policy. “It’s directly impacting our economy in San Diego.”
Even San Francisco, where housing and other costs are substantially higher, was rated more affordable than San Diego because incomes are higher, according to the report.
The majority of households are spending 33 percent of their paychecks on housing, the report states. The median price of a single-family home in San Diego County averages $545,000, while two-bedroom rentals are $2,000 a month.
“It’s absolutely a housing crisis,” Karafin said. “The underlying cause of the housing crisis is about a lack of building.”
Karafin blames the slowdown in development to community and environmental opposition.
“Almost every housing project is having difficulty getting to the finish line — especially the larger ones,” Karafn said. “There are planned developments that are taking decades to go through the process.”
San Diegans also face the second-highest income taxes and third-highest property taxes among the 10 metropolitan areas in the study.
The report is the second of three analyzing the region’s business climate as part of the chamber’s Regional Jobs Strategy.