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New Report: Military Represents One Fifth of the San Diego Economy

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150924-11
Release Date: 9/24/2015 2:37:00 PM

By Tina C. Stillions, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- According to the 7th Annual San Diego Military Advisory Council's (SDMAC) Economic Impact Study, released Sept. 23, the military is a critical economic driver for the San Diego region, creating 22 percent of all jobs and $45 billion of gross regional product.

Approximately $22.7 billion in direct and multiplier effects are linked to military spending and injected into the local economy.

The military accounts for one-fifth of San Diego county's economy.

'For more than 10 years the San Diego Military Advisory Council has provided the region and our nation's military leaders the opportunity to understand just how vital the military and defense sectors are to our region,' said Paul Cassini, president of SDMAC. 'The impact represents billions of dollars in direct spending - and hundreds of thousands of jobs right here in San Diego.'

Guest speaker Toni Atkins, California State Assembly member representing the 78th district echoed Cassini.

'Our region, our importance to the nation, will continue to grow as we increase our presence,' she said. 'We know the impact San Diego has on our national security and to California.'

With the largest concentration of military in the nation, the San Diego economy relies heavily on the defense complex. As one of the largest defense employers in San Diego, the Space and Naval Systems Command (SPAWAR) contributed approximately $1.77 billion dollars to the local economy in fiscal year 2014.

'We are a significant economic driver to the San Diego region,' said SPAWAR Executive Director Pat Sullivan. 'This command employees nearly 10,000 people worldwide, with half located here in San Diego. If SPAWAR was a private company, we would rank as the 12th largest employer in the county.'

A report commissioned by SDMAC in 2013, and developed by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, the same organization responsible for developing this year's SDMAC study, showed that SPAWAR's total budget in fiscal year 2012 was $9.3 billion, with $7.8 billion or 84 percent going to contracts with private industry.

More than 50 percent of that amount directly supported partnerships with industry and small businesses, many of which are located in San Diego.

As a major acquisition command, SPAWAR's presence in San Diego benefits from the large number of advanced technology and defense industry companies that bring the additional expertise necessary to develop and field cutting-edge technologies for the Navy.

As the Navy's Information Dominance systems command, SPAWAR is leading the way in cyber research and development. The command also has a large concentration of highly trained and technically skilled workers and is the primary acquisition command for Navy information technology (IT) programs.

With an increased emphasis on developing cutting edge technology for the warfighter, SPAWAR is positioned to continue as a stabilizing and important part of the San Diego economy.

Copies of the Economic Impact Study are available at

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