San Francisco is on a roll when it comes to jobs and economic growth. While California and the rest of the nation continue on a slow path of recovery, San Francisco is setting new records. And with several exciting developments and world-class events still ahead, the best is yet to come.
The Chamber helped spotlight our city’s successes earlier this month at ForecastSF presented by Wells Fargo and hosted in partnership with the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED). Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia painted a positive picture of our city’s economic growth trajectory, predicting continued above-average job growth, particularly in high-wage fields such as technology, finance and professional services. Wells Fargo Chief Financial Tim Sloan also predicted continued growth as local small business gain increasing access to capital.
San Francisco’s healthcare and medical research institutions are playing a key role in our city’s economic story. According to an updated study from San Francisco State University unveiled at ForecastSF, San Francisco hospitals and biomedical firms are now responsible for 104,035 jobs – or almost one out of every five jobs in San Francisco and 30 percent of all innovation jobs across the Bay Area. The sectors’ spending in San Francisco alone is estimated at $16.7 billion per year.
And it’s not just the innovation industries that are driving the economy forward. San Francisco is also having a record-breaking year in tourism, which supports nearly 70,000 jobs and injects over $8 billion annually into the city’s economy. Hotel occupancy in the city recently topped 80 percent and is expected to remain at this level for the rest of the year. Taken together with rising average room rates, San Francisco is now the top tourism growth market in the country.
Recent televised events such as the America’s Cup World Series, the Giants in the playoffs and nationally televised 49er games put our city in the spotlight for viewers across the nation and the world. And several exciting projects now in the pipeline will help keep us there for years to come.
Golden State Warriors Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber joined ForecastSF to describe the world-class waterfront arena the team hopes to bring to San Francisco in time for the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season. San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer shared plans to redevelop what is now Giants Parking Lot A into a vibrant new Mission Rock community. These projects’ combined with the new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal now being developed, the Exploratorium opening next year on Pier 15 and several others – will transform our city’s waterfront while creating thousands of new jobs, as well as new drivers for the city’s economic engine.
San Francisco should be proud of our successes. They have been achieved – and in some cases hard won – through vision, collaboration and public-private partnerships bringing government and the private-sector together to grow key industries and plan for the future. Like all partnerships, they will require continued attention and cooperation to ensure lasting success. But for now, let’s marvel in what we have achieved and keep the ball rolling for San Francisco.
How We See it is a bi-weekly blog by Steve Falk, President & CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce