The 23 ZIP codes defining South County outpaced the overall county’s growth in GDP, personal income, and employment from 2010 to 2013, said a report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
According to the report, South County has seen GDP increase 37.6 percent from 2010-2013, a rate three times faster than the county’s overall rate of growth. This growth has been fueled by an increasing number of high-tech and professional service companies located in South County, continued growth along the U.S.-Mexico border, and gains in the “Working Waterfront” of the San Diego Bay.
South County’s personal income increased by 69.4 percent during the three year period, and employment grew by 29.2 percent. This indicates that people are living and working in South County, as opposed to commuting to other areas, the report said.
“People tend to spend more money where they live rather than where they earn money. This brings more prosperity localized to the South County region,” said Kelly Cunningham, economist at the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
Cunningham is set to unveil the report at the South County Economic Development Council's 25th Annual Economic Summit on Oct. 2.
South County’s largest employment, income, and sales increases came from professional, scientific, and technical services, according to the report. These are typically skilled, high-wage positions, which contribute to a strong multiplier effect on other local businesses, Cunningham said.
South County has experienced this growth partially because it is smaller and has more room for growth than the rest of the county, Cunningham said.
"It's very impressive — having that kind of growth is almost stunning," Cunningham said