San Diego has largest population of millennials, chamber says

Millennials

SAN DIEGO — San Diego has the largest population of millennials among 10 major metropolitan areas nationwide reviewed by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the organization said Thursday.

The Business and Tax Climate Dashboard found that nearly 29 percent of the San Diego area’s population was aged 18 to 31, higher than the next four cities of Austin, Boston, Los Angeles and Denver.

Add in members of Generation Y, roughly aged 32-36, and San Diego’s percentage was 40.7 percent, again tops among the 10 cities studied.

San Diego also led the group with veterans making up 7.3 percent of the labor force, with Seattle, Raleigh, Portland and Austin coming next.

“With large millennial and veteran populations in our workforce we see that we have new talent to build on as well as a highly trained contingent of workers, but we also need to do more to raise the number of women and minorities in our workforce,” said Helen Robbins-Meyer, chief administrative officer for the county of San Diego. “Having this data as a point of reference is important to building an effective job creation strategy for the region.”

San Diego ranked fourth in workforce ethnic diversity, with nearly half white, 24 percent Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, and 5 percent black.

The local area ranked last among the 10 metro areas in the portion of women in the workforce, with 44 percent. Boston was highest at 49 percent. San Diego was also just eighth with 37 percent of residents 25 years old and up who had a bachelor’s degree.

“Making San Diego a place where business can succeed and grow means we have to identify our strengths as well as our weaknesses,” said Jerry Sanders, chamber president and CEO. “This dashboard is just a first piece of the puzzle and drives the conversation about how we can make San Diego an attractive place to start a business or a career.”

San Diego was burdened by high state and local taxes, and the highest electricity rates per kilowatt hour — 20 cents for commercial businesses and 17 cents for industrial customers, according to the study.