SPOTLIGHT: Innovation Economy is Thriving in Carlsbad

August 17, 2016

Carlsbad’s innovation economy is not just blooming, it’s booming.

This sector includes businesses that embrace emerging high tech and discoveries to chart new territory—and Carlsbad has no shortage of them.

For starters, it’s home to the nation’s largest desalination plant, where cutting-edge research is raising the bar on cleantech.

And the city’s stellar online business presence has earned it recognition from the likes of Google, which named it ‘California’s digital capital’ in 2013.

Carlsbad is also central to the nation’s fourth largest life science hub, San Diego. In Carlsbad this segment was responsible for a staggering 1,254 patents from 2008 to 2015 with no signs of slowing. In fact, 22 percent of those patents were issued in 2015 alone.

The Carlsbad innovation economy drives the success for a number of world class companies and is home to some of the best places to work. Carlsbad’s economy is so productive that for every 1,000 workers nearly 12 patents are produced. This outpaces San Francisco by over 8 patents for every 1,000 workers and San Jose by over 3 patents per 1,000 workers. Even with so many innovations, Carlsbad enjoys top marks for positive work life balance.

All of that is impressive, but it’s also good for the local economy. The job growth from 2005 to 2015 has been tremendous, with an average employment growth of 15.4 percent. The city’s unemployment rate is also the lowest it’s been in six years, at 4.3 percent. That’s 2 percent below the national average, and 2.4 percent below the county average.

“There’s something to be said for all these numbers,” said Management Analyst Kevin Pointer. “This data is proof that Carlsbad is on the fast track to becoming a national model for the innovation economy. It’s an exciting time to be in Carlsbad.”

The City of Carlsbad has also strategically focused on creating quality jobs and more specifically, on becoming a hub for higher education and research to develop talent pipelines directly to our innovative businesses. In 2016, the city was recognized by the Alliance for Innovation and CALED—California’s Local Economic Development Association—for our award-winning partnership with MiraCosta College, which operates the city’s Technology Career Institute.

You can also keep up with the latest in Carlsbad’s innovation economy thanks to its new interactive dashboards. You can also subscribe for news updates on our homepage, and find links to the department’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

For more information about Carlsbad’s innovation economy, or any of its economic development, please contact Kevin Pointer at [email protected] or by phone at 760-602- 4620.