Recently, the San Diego region received the troubling news that both Sony and Cox Communications were cutting jobs or moving them outside of the San Diego region. Shortly after that announcement, the city learned it had ranked 36th on the Census Bureau’s list of best cities for job seekers, a modest score at best. This most likely means that people in their 30s to 50s who were laid off during recession have had a hard time finding work again. A contributing factor to this low score was likely the disparity between average pay and living wage in the region.
In August 2013, unemployment in San Diego was 7.4%, slightly higher than the national average. In addition to the individuals who have had trouble finding work after the recession, San Diego is also home to many unemployed homeless. In fact, San Diego has one of the worst homelessness problems in the nation, coming in just after Los Angeles and New York, which is especially shocking when one considers the fact that San Diego is the eighth largest city in the country but has the third largest homeless population.
In plans proposed to tackle homelessness and job loss in the region, it is generally recommended that we should attempt to create jobs in industries that are more likely to create sustainable and fulfilling jobs that pay a living wage, rather than create jobs in industries that represent a large part of San Diego’s industry but are seasonal or low-paying like many tourism industry jobs.
San Diego is a hub of scientific and technological industry, as well as a center for military operations. The city is also home to many reputable universities that are particularly strong in the sciences and engineering. As a result, these sectors supply many of the well-paid, sustainable jobs in the region.
Intertwined with many of these major San Diego industries is the small but thriving community of automation manufacturers. Automation provides solid jobs in many areas including design and engineering, sales, service, and marketing, all of which would be appropriate for rehabilitated individuals looking for work and for many middle-level employees seeking new opportunities.
And in addition, the future of the automation industry is looking very bright. According to one prediction, the industrial robotics industry will be worth as much as $32.8 billion by 2017. This means that individuals looking for new professional opportunities, especially in technology and engineering, would be wise to consider robotics.
All of this positions automation as an excellent industry for growth in San Diego in the coming years, which could provide much needed job opportunities and professional growth for many San Diegans.
Rachel Greenberg writes technical content for Automation GT, an industrial robotics manufacturer in Carlsbad, CA.