San Diego's job market sucks

But at least we have an abundance of cafés

San Diego is among the five United States cities with the lowest number of job opportunities, according to WalletHub, a statistics-compiling organization that reports on cities and states.

San Diego is the best of the five worst, but that is not saying much. The other four cities are Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and, last, New York City. This study only measures cities, not metro areas, and the statistics and rankings are adjusted for the cities' size. The figure is calculated by subtracting the number of unemployed people from the number of job openings.

This particular study looks at a number of variables besides job openings. Among the variables are employment growth, monthly median starting salary, unemployment rate for high school graduates and those with bachelor's degrees or higher, and percentage of employed workforce living under the poverty line. By those metrics, San Diego is 106th among 150 cities; Oceanside is 56th and Chula Vista 84th.

There is another measurement by which San Diego comes out better: its socio-economic environment, which includes median annual income adjusted for cost of living, time spent working and commuting, benefits, housing affordability, safety, emotional health, and social life (such as number of cafés per capita). By these measures, San Diego comes in 37th of the 150 cities, raising its overall score to 79th of 150 — still not particularly impressive. Of all 150 cities, Oceanside has the lowest percentage of the employed workforce living under the poverty line.

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These moneyball stats always leave me re-reading the material as if it were a Common Core exercise. Cities, not metro areas? Subtracting the number of unemployed people from the number of job openings? (What if there are more unemployed people than job openings?) Emotional health based on the number of cafes per person? (What about the homeless who hang at Starbuck's?) Like, huh? We KNOW what makes San Diego "America's Finest City" and it has nothing to do with this stuff: it's Paradise Lost, but it's still paradise.

monaghan: I read the WalletHub studies carefully, and I think its statistical methodology is better than other organizations that put together comparative figures on metro areas and states. That's why I post these WalletHub studies. I agree that use of cities and not metro areas in this particular study was disappointing. If you read the methodology (click WalletHub), I think you will be impressed. Best, Don Bauder

SAN DIEGO IS ONLY NUMBER 51 IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH JOBS. WalletHub has another study out indicating that San Diego County, despite that "Silicon Beach" moniker, is only 51st among 100 United States metro areas as a good location for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs.

Here are the main criteria: job openings per capita for STEM grads; percentage of all workers in STEM occupations; projected number of STEM jobs needed in 2018; STEM employment growth; unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree or higher; median wage and wage growth for STEM workers, and housing affordability.

The top three metro areas were Houston, Austin, and Raleigh. To no one's surprise, San Jose has the highest percentage of all workers in STEM jobs. Houston has the highest median wage for STEM workers and Honolulu the lowest.

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