Making Critical Connections Between Where People Live and Work

The San Diego region is a growing and dynamic place to live and work. As the community, policymakers, and other stakeholders collaborate regarding how we create transportation options that are competitive and environmentally responsible, it is essential we use data about where people live and work to invest in solutions that will best serve our communities.

SANDAG is developing San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Plan with data-driven strategies. Studies conducted by SANDAG help answer questions about how the region can maintain and improve mobility, accessibility, and connectivity as the population grows, new travel choices emerge, and travel patterns evolve.

Employment Centers
SANDAG conducted an analysis to better understand where employment centers are in the region, what industries are located there, where the employees in these areas live, and how they commute. This quantitative data will help identify critical transportation connections throughout the region to support development of a bold new vision in 5 Big Moves.

Employment centers are areas with high densities of employment. The 2019 analysis identified more than 75 employment centers in the San Diego region which are categorized into four tiers based on the number of employees. View the methodology for more information on the analysis and data sources.

Explore the Data
You can explore this data in our interactive mapping tool. Scroll through our story map to learn more about the 5 Big Moves and how SANDAG is using data to develop the 2021 Regional Plan. Use the map tools to customize your map view to better understand where employment centers exist in the region and where commuters are traveling to and from. You can tailor the data viewer by toggling between communities, employment centers, and data summaries.

Click to view the story map

On Wednesday, September 25, 2019 SANDAG hosted a webinar that explored where people live and work around the San Diego region and why this information is important to making data-driven decisions that address traffic congestion and create sustainable transportation options. View the webinar recording, responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from this webinar, and learn more about the 5 Big Moves webinar series.

Tier 1 Employment Centers (75,000+ Employees)
These three employment centers include the region’s largest employers and 8,700 businesses, support 328,000 jobs, and represent 22% of all jobs in the region. The average commute trip is 12.1 miles which totals 8 million vehicle miles traveled each day. The highest concentration of jobs is in professional scientific and technical industries.
Tier 2 Employment Centers (25,000 – 75,000 Employees)
These 10 employment centers include more than 13,000 businesses, support 304,000 jobs, and represent 20% of all jobs in the region. The average commute trip is 10 miles which totals to 6 million vehicle miles traveled each day. The highest concentration of jobs is in health care.
Tier 3 Employment Centers (15,000 – 25,000 Employees)
These 15 employment centers include nearly 11,000 businesses, support 280,000 jobs, and represent 18% of all jobs in the region. The average commute trip is 11.3 miles and totals 6.3 million vehicle miles traveled each day. The highest concentration of jobs is in construction and manufacturing.
Tier 4 Employment Centers (2,500 – 15,000 Employees)
These 51 employment centers include more than 18,000 businesses, support 352,000 jobs, and represent 23% of all jobs in the region. The average commute trip is 10.5 miles which totals to 7.4 million vehicle miles traveled each day. The highest concentration of jobs is in retail and food services.
Special Analyses
Employment centers can be combined to examine specific geographic areas. Three such analyses have been performed.