“Jobs without Borders: Employment, Industry Concentrations and Comparative Advantage in the CaliBaja Region,” a report published by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, the Colegio de la Frontera Norte and the Cali-Baja Mega-Region Initiative, is the first of its kind to analyze industry-specific employment concentrations within the cross-border region. It is designed to identify further opportunities for economic integration between San Diego, Tijuana and surrounding communities.
The report also highlights trade data that illustrate the region's importance as a connecting point for complementary industries in the Pacific region.
Home to more than 6.5 million residents, the region has a gross regional product of more than $200 billion and accounts for more than 70,000 northbound commercial and vehicular border crossings every day.
“Understanding the industry concentrations and comparative advantages of our regional economy is of central importance to ensuring long-term, sustainable economic growth,” said David Shirk, visiting professor of international relations at UCSD and a contributing author to the report. “As the United States and Mexico work to expand cross-border trade flows — now valued at more than $500 billion — this study is designed to enhance competitiveness by providing unique insights into the core strengths of the binational economy along the U.S.-Mexico border.”
The study identified 41 highly concentrated regional industries with strong capacities for export-oriented manufacturing, including audio and video equipment manufacturing, medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, hardware manufacturing, communications equipment manufacturing and semi-conductor and electronic component manufacturing.
The report says that in the region’s top 10 industries’ employment concentration in 2008, Baja California supplied 74 percent of the labor force, while San Diego and Imperial counties supplied 26 percent. In the audio and video equipment manufacturing sector in North America in 2008, the region employed 28.8 times more people compared with any other place in the U.S. or Mexico.
In 2008, the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry employed the largest number of people in the region, and the Baja California economy supplied 87 percent of the labor for this sector.
Since 1979, the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, based at UCSD's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, has been a major source for extensive academic research on Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations.
-- Staff and contributions