The North County Economic Summit is coming next month to California State University San Marcos.
The 10th annual event, hosted by the San Diego North County Economic Development Council is expected to draw more than 400 local leaders to the University Student Union Ballroom on campus to learn how national and international economic trends will impact the region.
Presented by Wells Fargo, the summit, from 7 to 10 a.m., Thursday, May 11, will also be an opportunity for those in attendance to get the 2023 North County Indicators report.
The report measures changes in North County’s economy. The document can be referenced throughout the year and includes a quick fact sheet on each of the nine incorporated North County cities – Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Del Mar, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Poway and Vista — allowing those interested to quickly look up population, employment base and other commonly asked statistics.
Erik Bruvold, CEO of the San Diego North Economic Development Council said this year’s summit will offer glimpses into important changes that have come — and are still coming.
“This is a year of uncertainty and unprecedented change,” Bruvold said. “Even as the economy has slowed North County has seen historically low unemployment rates and talent is extremely difficult to find. Housing prices remain elevated and yet interest rates have created headwinds for developers. Manufacturing continues to grow, despite the high cost of doing business in California. Each year at the summit we try to make senses of the headwinds so business owners and thought leaders in North County can plan.”
Two findings in this year’s report are particularly important, Bruvold said.
First, North County has seen a nearly 23% decline in employment in the previously white-hot aerospace and drone industry between 2021 and 2022. Simultaneously, North County’s biotech and biomedical device industry saw an increase of employment by more than 30%.
Second, the region saw an increase in fully electric vehicles of more than 7,000 over 2020 levels – further underscoring the importance of further transformations in the region’s energy grid and vehicle charging infrastructure.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Charlie Dougherty, director and senior economist with Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dougherty covers the U.S. economy with a focus on commercial real estate, housing, construction and regional sectors of the economy. Dougherty will focus on national and state trends.
Josh Williams, president of BW Research Partnership, Inc., will cover this year’s North County Indicators Report, showing where North County is doing well and areas where we have opportunities to lead. Williams’ Carlsbad-headquartered WB Research, which he founded in 2006 with partners Jaime Barrah and Veronica Williams, is a full-service market research firm. It also has an East Coast office in Wrentham, Massachusetts.
Admission price includes breakfast and a physical copy of the 2023 North County Indicators report for each guest.
The North County Indicators are designed to illustrate key measures of San Diego’s North County to spark more informed conversations about the region’s future and serve as a reference to better understand the evolving economic landscape.
Last year’s ninth iteration included more than 64 indicators and complementary data sets that provide a holistic measure of North County’s economic ecosystem. It was split into seven categories: People, Economy, Environment, Innovation, Education, Place and Philanthropy.
The seven categories provide quantitative measures of North County, allowing regional stakeholders to delve deeply into a component of economic vitality.
San Diego’s North County stretches from its southern border at the 56 freeway and Carmel Valley, to the border of Orange County at Camp Pendleton’s northern edge. In the east, North County goes as far as Borrego Springs and the desert that separates San Diego from Imperial County.
The region includes the nine incorporated cities as well as unincorporated communities such as Bonsall, Fallbrook, Julian, Ramona and Rancho Santa Fe.
Last year’s report said that in January of 2022, North County had just about 1.22 million residents, just over 468,000 jobs, and approximately $81 billion in gross regional product for 2021.
The reported noted that:
If North County was its own county in California, it would have the ninth largest population in the state, just below Sacramento and above Contra Costa counties.
In terms of economic output, it would be the 11th most productive county in California, with considerably more economic output than Ventura or Fresno counties.
And if North County were its own state, it would be larger than eight states in the Union, by both population and employment.
San Diego North County Economic Development Council
CEO: W. Erik Bruvold
HEADQUARTERS: San Marcos
BUSINESS: Nonprofit economic development organization focused on driving prosperity north of state Route 56
SOCIAL IMPACT: In 2022, the organization assisted more than 150 businesses in North County.
NOTABLE: San Diego North County Economic Development Council is a founding member of the award-winning workforce program SoCal.org