The Manufacturing sector comprises establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. Establishments that transform materials or substances into new products by hand or in the worker’s home and those engaged in selling to the general public products made on the same premises from which they are sold, such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors, may also be included in this sector.
Ventura County is comprised of six different subsectors: biomedical device manufacturing, biopharmaceutical production, custom steel fabrication, consumer packaged food products, value-added agricultural products (wineries, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned fruits and vegetables), and electronic and electrical device manufacturing.
The manufacturing sector in Ventura County accounts for 14% of the total economic output in the county and just under 28,000 jobs. Approximately one-third of employment is production oriented, while another third involves a variety of administrative occupations from accounting and management to logistics and global trade specialists, with the final third of employment engaged in high-end engineering and R&D. At average earnings of $89,742, this sector provides the largest single contribution of an industry to the county’s gross domestic product.
Q4 2019 sector data shows employment in the manufacturing sector standing at approximately 27,000. Though this is a decrease of 200 jobs compared with Q2 and Q3, the year over year December estimates show an aggregate increase of 600 jobs in the sector. It is important to note that employment in this sector has the potential to increase in size, however, a shortage of skilled labor and competitive entry-level wages may be variables affecting current levels of employment. While the chart shows a steep decline in jobs for this sector over the last 20 years, it’s important to recognize that Ventura County has a higher concentration of jobs in manufacturing than the average for other areas both in California and nationally (see LQ). This decline in jobs should not distract from the point that Ventura County remains a national leader in manufacturing, requiring educational resources in modern engineering and national industry training certificates.
Q1 2020 showed slight signs of impact due to business closures, concluding at 26,300 total employment. April and May 2020 did not show substantially improved conditions, ending at 24,600 and 24,900 total jobs respectively, this is a 1,400 decrease in year over year comparisons.
The chart below displays Q1-Q4 2019 employment values, followed by Q1 2020.