During 2009, San Diego County’s economy got an extra boost worth $1.3 billion in salaries thanks to support from the armed services and the presence/influx of sailors and marines in the region. While San Diego was still hit hard by the recession, military spending softened the blow to some extent, according to a report released by Kelly Cunningham, a researcher for the National University System Institute for Policy Research in San Diego. The worst of the recession’s effects were also lessened due to billions in military construction spending. For instance, $2 billion is being spent at Camp Pendleton; also, since several ships were moved to the region, an increase in sailors bolstered consumer spending. Nevertheless, income in the county did fall by $1.5 billion to $139 billion in 2009, but the report argues the area would have been much worse off if it were not for the military's expansion. The North County Times reports:
“In their 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon officials announced that the West Coast would receive 60 percent of military assets, instead of the traditional even split. The move was to guard against growing threats from Pacific Rim countries such as North Korea and China. Cunningham's data show that shortly after the announcement, San Diego County began to receive more personnel and resources, and the gap in salaries between the region and Norfolk, Va. ---- the largest recipient of military salaries for years ---- began to shrink. In 2009, San Diego County took over as the largest recipient of military salaries in the nation.”One expert noted that the key effects had been “construction, employment, and the support from incomes and related consumer spending.” Ships that arrive to the region also have made a big difference; for instance, USS Carl Vinson has made San Diego home and brought with it 3,000 sailors. Also, military construction has supplied private contractors with work. You can read more here.