Report: Defense Industry Contributes $38.7 Billion to San Diego Economy

September 22, 2014

Defense-related activities and spending generated an estimated $38.7 billion of gross regional product in San Diego County in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the San Diego Military Advisory Council reported Tuesday. In its sixth annual report on the local economic impact of military activities, the group called SDMAC said the total represents 20 percent of the region's total GRP. The total includes $25.2 billion in direct defense spending, according to the report.

The figures are slightly higher than last year. However, the authors said their latest report includes additional money not accounted for in previous editions, including education and health care benefits.

"The combination of San Diego's military community and defense cluster remains San Diego's most important economic driver," said Jamie Moraga, president of SDMAC. "In fact, new data in the study reinforces even more that San Diego's military community and defense cluster is vital to our region's economy.

Among other figures in the report:

  • The military sector is responsible for about 317,000 jobs in the region after accounting for all of the ripple effects of defense spending, or around 22 percent of all of the jobs existing in the county.
  • The wide range of jobs created by defense spending include engineering, food services, information technology, cyber security, construction, shipbuilding, health care, real estate and retailing.
  • The direct spending linked to the 56 ships home-ported in San Diego is around $2.8 billion.
  • The two aircraft carriers based in Coronado each add about $500 million to the economy.
  • The two Navy hospitals in San Diego employ about 8,000 individuals and bring nearly $1 billion of defense dollars directly into the region.
The report was compiled by the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University.

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