The SPUR planning and urban research organization recently provided a look at the current factors at play in the San Francisco economy. Compiled from a panel of local economists representing a variety of industries, the report offers a look at some major trends impacting the city this year.
As the fastest-growing large county in the country, San Francisco saw a 6.1 percent increase in employment from 2011 to 2012. That was three times the national growth rate of 2 percent. In other words, the city has fully recovered to pre-recession employment levels. The tech sector is leading the way here, with 30 percent of the city’s job growth since 2010. In addition, tech is a major driver in the city’s office space market, accounting for 61 percent of new office space leased in the city during 2012. By the end of 2013, tech companies were responsible for occupying 22 percent of the city’s total available office space.
The city budget is now at nearly $8 billion, which is an increase of $1.5 billion over the past three years since the recession low. The city receives most of its general fund revenue from property tax, sales tax, hotel tax, business tax and transfer tax, all of which are expected to increase in the coming months.
SPUR also believes that the fears of another tech bubble are unfounded. According to city chief economist Ted Egan, the price-to-earnings ratio is at a far lower order of magnitude than in 2001, decidedly a time of a tech bubble.
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