Report: San Marcos’ Gaining Steam in Key Economic, Education Areas
Housing and business stock are on the rise, and there’s still plenty of potential for growth
In recent years, San Marcos has seen household incomes grow and the already low unemployment rate fall. At the same time, the city is home to high-paying industries and universities that are a pipeline for regional talent.
Those are among the takeaways of a recently released City of San Marcos Regional Profile, which demonstrates with comprehensive data sets the city’s momentum in key economic and education areas.
The city commissioned the regional profile, produced by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC), to gain insight and information to be used on future economic development efforts, a major priority for the city.
The regional profile encompasses four sections: demographics, socioeconomics, the housing market and the economy, with major findings that include:
- Household income grew by 8.9 percent each year from 2011 to 2015, greatly outpacing the region’s rate of 1.4 percent;
- The unemployment rate of 2.9 percent continues to be low, and historical unemployment data show the city weathered the Great Recession better than the region, state and nation;
- San Marcos boasts 4,000 businesses, up 10 percent from a decade ago. Local firms’ resiliency in the face of the Great Recession has been a key to San Marcos’ status as an economic powerhouse;
- As North County’s education hub, San Marcos produces 10 percent of the San Diego region’s total academic program completions, with the lion’s share coming from Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College;
- Higher-than-average median wages can be found in three high-paying industries: manufacturing, wholesale trade and information; and
- Between 2010 and 2015 housing stock grew by 10.1 percent—San Marcos has more opportunities for development than other regional cities.
“The numbers in the regional profile tell the story: San Marcos’ growing reputation as a great place to live, work and play is well deserved. Not only do we have 40,000 jobs, an annual GDP totaling $7.9 billion and stellar educational institutions, but the community also boasts 72 miles of multi-use trails, 300 acres of park space, 240 restaurants and eight breweries,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill.
As for the work piece of that trio, the City bolstered its business-friendly reputation through proactive economic development, which in 2012 the City Council prioritized in response to the tough economy and the end of redevelopment funding. City efforts thus far have included cutting red tape from the development approval process and there is recognition that there is room for more improvement.
Also part of this commitment to improving business is the regional profile itself, the City’s first such snapshot that will shape future economic development initiatives.
“This profile provides clarity and insight into San Marcos’ regional strengths, in addition to identifying the fundamental drivers of the local economy,” said Kirby Brady, the San Diego Regional EDC’s Director of Research. “It is clear that the city is an economic powerhouse with a diverse economic base, a highly-educated and talented workforce, and opportunities for growth.”
To review the full regional profile, visit www.san-marcos.net/regionalprofile.