Because we're a healthy lot

Local healthcare jobs lower than other metro areas, percentage-wise

San Diego's healthcare services sector employed 121,510 people and contributed $17.2 billion to the regional economy in 2012, according to a new study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

The healthcare sector is significantly larger than the San Diego metro area's manufacturing, tourism, and bio-medical research industries, says the institute's Erik Bruvold. Healthcare indirectly supported another 86,500 jobs in 2012. Directly and indirectly, healthcare represented more than 9 percent of the economy two years ago.

However, San Diego is still far down the list of U.S. metro areas in healthcare services employment as a percent of the total population. In first place is Cleveland, which has the renowned Cleveland Clinic, at 6.9 percent; second is Boston/Cambridge, home to prestigious research institutions, at 6.6 percent; San Diego is near the bottom of major metro areas at 3.7 percent.

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Did military employment top the list? Just wondering. Also, health care is a larger slice of the pie then tourism? Gee kind of mind boggling considering how much weight the hotel industry swings.

MichaelValentine: You are alert. Bruvold said in a news release that the healthcare sector is a bigger contributor to the local economy than tourism. I questioned it when I saw it, but the National University System Institute for Policy Research, and Bruvold, are known for accuracy and good research, so I repeated what was in the release.

I shouldn't have. Tonight I tried unsuccessfully to reach Bruvold. But I reached Kelly Cunningham, the institute economist. He says that tourism, both directly and indirectly, contributes $18.9 billion to the local economy, about double what healthcare contributes. After 50 years in financial journalism, I should have known enough to challenge the statement before printing it. Best, Don Bauder

HERE ARE LATEST FIGURES. According to Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, tourism, both directly and indirectly, contributed $18.7 billion to the San Diego economy in 2013. Healthcare, both directly and indirectly, contributed $17.3 billion in 2012. Best, Don Bauder

Be that as it may, Don, I am still surprised to read Healthcare employment in SD is so low when compared to other major cities. I wonder if this is due to a large segment of healthcare going to active military and veterans and consequently not being counted? I would think with Scripps Institute, UCSD Hospital, Scripps Mercy Hospital, and tons of clinical trial research clinics in San Diego, employment in this sector would be much larger.

JavaJoe25: The 121,510 healthcare jobs are in the private sector. So I assume that this excludes the military. Best, Don Bauder

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