San Diego has the Highest Female Unemployment Rate

Created: 31 October, 2018
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

Compared to competitor metro areas, San Diego has the highest female unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent, and also has the second lowest percentage of women in the workforce, at 44.8 percent. These are some of the results of the 2018 Regional Jobs Strategy Dashboard by the San Diego Regional Chamber.

“Understanding the potential that exists in our region is key to designing policy that creates the best environment for businesses to succeed,” said Jerry Sanders, Chamber president and CEO. “It’s our responsibility as business leaders and policy makers to recognize and capitalize on that potential and do all we can to bring as much opportunity to as many people in as many places across our county as possible.”

Job creation depends on uncovering and leveraging the potential of the region, whether it’s the within the workforce or in the communities. In unique ways, San Diego has economic opportunity within the populations of veterans, millennials, women, and minorities. Similarly, potential exists to invest in commercial and housing development that meets the community’s needs. These findings were also part of the dashboard.

Key areas for opportunity as highlighted in the 2018 Jobs Strategy Dashboard Update include women. Gaps in number of women in the workforce and educational attainment should be seen as an underutilization of existing talent, and an opportunity to unlock economic potential in the region by removing barriers for women to find success in the workforce.

Another opportunity is the millennial generation, as they are now the largest generation in the workforce, and they have perspectives shaped by the economic, political, and social events that occurred when they were growing up and entering the workforce. As a group, they are relatively diverse which should be seen as a strength for employers. An opportunity for this generation is that as millennials enter the workforce and advance to leadership positions, successful employers will have adapted their practices to attract and retain these younger workers by creating a purpose-driven culture.

The dashboard also indicates that veterans gain many skills, traits, and attributes through their service which are valuable in the civilian workforce. Over the past decade, young veterans have experienced greater unemployment than their non-veteran counterparts. However, in 2017, young veterans, ages 18 through 34, experienced a lower unemployment rate than their non-veteran counterparts. While the numbers seem to suggest a positive trend for the veterans and the economy in San Diego, metros like Austin and Denver have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce veteran unemployment substantially from where San Diego’s is today.

The 2018 Jobs Strategy Dashboard update is designed to measure the business climate, by tracking key metrics like taxes, standard of living, and housing affordability that were identified through the original Regional Jobs Strategy Initiative. The initial effort was guided by a coalition including the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego, and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), in partnership with nearly 70 job-creating organizations throughout the entire Cali-Baja region.