San Diego: Energy, the Economy, and the Call for Pause
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
San Diego’s economy is at a critical inflection point. As the region emerges from the Great Recession, it continues to undergo a profound transformation. No longer is San Diego dominated by tourism, military-base operations, and defense procurement. Instead, San Diego is home to a diversified innovation economy whose fortunes are dictating the region’s economic performance. At the same time, like many regions, San Diego faces increasing gaps between upper- and lower-income households. Income gaps are even more of a challenge in San Diego than elsewhere because San Diego has a smaller “opportunity economy” than other California cities (Shires 2014). There are fewer rungs for San Diegans to grab onto when trying to move themselves and their families up the socioeconomic ladder compared to places with larger manufacturing bases, bigger logistical hubs, or which have had a more robust construction recovery. The region has many economic strengths, but economic mobility has become one of its biggest challenges.