San Diego's healthcare services sector employed 121,510 people and contributed $17.2 billion to the regional economy in 2012, according to a new study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
The healthcare sector is significantly larger than the San Diego metro area's manufacturing, tourism, and bio-medical research industries, says the institute's Erik Bruvold. Healthcare indirectly supported another 86,500 jobs in 2012. Directly and indirectly, healthcare represented more than 9 percent of the economy two years ago.
However, San Diego is still far down the list of U.S. metro areas in healthcare services employment as a percent of the total population. In first place is Cleveland, which has the renowned Cleveland Clinic, at 6.9 percent; second is Boston/Cambridge, home to prestigious research institutions, at 6.6 percent; San Diego is near the bottom of major metro areas at 3.7 percent.