By Debbie Gregory.
According to Dr. Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University’s Fermanian Business and Economic Institute, the $45 billion military economy in San Diego supports 20 per cent of the local jobs. The good news is that this number is poised to grow significantly as the Navy moves forces to the Pacific.
“San Diego’s military complex represents the region’s most important and largest economic catalyst,” Reaser said.
Reaser added that the Defense Department spent $23 billion in the 2016 fiscal year, employing 301,000 people and resulting in an overall $45 billion in economic impact.
She forecast an increase of about $500 million in economic impact in the 2017 fiscal year, adding that the long-term effect of Navy’s refocus on the Pacific will be “a major stimulus for the economy.”
By 2023, the planned refocus on the Pacific will increase the number of ships home-ported in the region from 53 to 84 by 2023, which could add billions of dollars to the local economy.
San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city is proud of its connection to the military and cognizant of the sector’s importance.
“Our city is home to the largest concentration of the military in the world,” Faulconer said. “San Diego continues to be a strategic location, and is becoming more and more important as our nation moves more of our forces into the Pacific region.”
Brigadier General Kevin Killea, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, said the San Diego region is an incomparable location for the military, both for training and for housing military families.
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, with a daytime population of approximately 100,000, is located in nearby Oceanside, also in San Diego County.