5 Industries Flourishing in Sacramento

An overhead view of a large building neighboring the Golden 1 Center. Learn about the industries flourishing in Sacramento.

5 Industries Flourishing in Sacramento

February 15, 2018 | By The Railyards

Sacramento is the capital to the 7th largest economy in the world. California’s Capital City is a strategic choice for many businesses who are drawn to the prime location, affordable cost of living, access to government and education, and quality of life in Sacramento.

As the State’s Capital city, government is Sacramento’s largest industry structure by employment. But Sacramento is more than just a government town. The region is being driven by a multitude of industries and investors, drawing new businesses from near and far, and providing economists and financial analysts an optimistic outlook for the future of Sacramento’s economy.

Which Industries are Flourishing in Sacramento?

While the government industry comprises over one-third of the city’s employment, business and financial services sector is Sacramento’s second-largest. Advanced manufacturing jobs, such as motor vehicle parts, communications and equipment manufacturing, support about 5,000 jobs in the region.

Sacramento generates $2.1 billion in tourism revenue, with 25 million visitors per year spending $1.3 billion on retail, food and entertainment. Historic Old Sacramento brings in over 2 million annual visitors. Sacramento’s Downtown – a hub for convention and other events – brings in over 175,000 conventioneers, thousands of spectators, and well over $50 million in generated economic impacts annually.

And, of course, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital is supported by 64,000 jobs in the $3 billion agribusiness and food manufacturing sector.

Here are five sectors contributing to the robust economic growth in Sacramento:

Clean Energy

Sacramento is marching towards a sustainable future, and the growth and development of the Clean Energy sector reflects the region’s sustainable initiatives. Clean energy in Sacramento supports approximately 200 establishments supporting over 3,000 jobs and $846 million of annual sales.

  • Sacramento’s Golden One Center is the first LEED Platinum Certified entertainment venue in California.
  • Sacramento is one of top 10 cities adopting smart grid technology.
  • Sacramento is one of only six U.S. cities on both General Electric and Ford’s lists of most electric-vehicle ready cities.
  • Sacramento is ranked 8th nationally for its number of ENERGY STAR labeled buildings.
  • The City of Sacramento has earned the Green Economic Development Leadership Award for its Clean Energy Sacramento Program which enables building owners to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades over the long-term through their property taxes.
  • Brookings Institution ranks Sacramento Region 3rd in Top 100 metros for concentration of Green Jobs.


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Sacramento isn’t just heading towards a green future - the City is making moves to ensure it’s connected with the latest technological advancements for the community.

Sacramento will be one of the first cities in the nation to get 5G broadband access.

Verizon will be bringing its new fifth-generation wireless technology to Sacramento, making the city one of the first in the country to get the residential high-speed wireless internet service. The City struck a $100 million partnership with Verizon, to establish technology infrastructure and help bridge the digital divide in Sacramento. The City’s plan even includes providing free Wi-Fi access to 27 city parks.

The Sacramento 5G program is part of a broader push by the City to develop policy and streamlined processes to leverage emerging technologies and create public-private partnerships to help provide services more efficiently to meet the needs of the community and reduce resource consumption.

Health Care

Health Care is projected to become the largest major sector in the U.S. in the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Sacramento, the life sciences and health care industry significantly affect employment, supporting more than 279,000 jobs.

Sacramento is home to more than 100 biotechnology and medical device companies. Jobs directly employed by the supplier industries represent more than 38,000, and through industry purchases and employee spending, the cluster supports approximately 121,000 additional jobs.

In recent years, over $18 billion has been invested on new facilities at Kaiser Permanente, Mercy Health Care, Sutter Health, and UC Davis medical expansion projects.

Kaiser Investing Heavily in Sacramento Expansions

Kaiser is investing in Downtown Sacramento expansions with plans to build a state-of-the-art, 1.2 million square foot Medical Center in The Railyards development and the purchase of a six-story, 195,000 square foot building at 501 J Street for new medical offices. Kaiser has been a part of the Sacramento community for over 50 years and continues to invest in new opportunities within the city.

Post-Secondary Education

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis), California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State), seven community colleges, numerous vocational schools, professional schools, private schools, and local satellite campuses of colleges headquartered elsewhere in the nation provide for the educational needs of Sacramento.

Post-Secondary Education represents a $1.1 Billion industry with 16,618 employees in the Sacramento Region. Collectively, over 192,000 students are enrolled in higher education which is a high adult participation rate compared to other parts of the state and nation.

  • Sacramento State ranks as the 16th best public university in the Western United States.
  • University of California at Davis (UC Davis) serves as the ninth best public university according to the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Colleges.
  • The UC Davis Graduate School of Management with its Davis and Sacramento campuses, the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and the UC Davis Law School are all in the Top 50 programs for their respective fields.
  • The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine ranks as the second best Veterinary School in the country according to the U.S. News and World Reports.

“Sacramento State has been vital to the Sacramento community as the capital's university for nearly 70 years… there is a long-standing relationship between Sacramento State University and the region's workforce. The intellectual capital of the Sacramento region is often a direct reflection of the quality of our institution."

-Phil Garcia, Vice President for Public Affairs and Advocacy Sacramento State University

Housing Market

Sacramento is one of the most affordable large metros in California. In 2017, Sacramento was the only California metro featured on a Zillow list of the 10 hottest housing markets, which evaluated home values, unemployment rates, and income growth of the 100 largest U.S. metros.

Realtor.com ranked Sacramento in the top 10 hottest real estate markets of 2018.

Redfin’s latest migration report found that Sacramento was one of the top ranked destinations for people moving out of expensive, high-tax markets. People migrating to Sacramento are coming mostly from the San Francisco/ Bay Area, with Seattle, WA being the top out-of-state source of migrating homeowners, according to Redfin.

Sacramento home values increased 10% over last year, according to Zillow, and are anticipated to rise another 6% this year. With a median list price of $305,000, the Sacramento housing market is far more affordable when compared to other California metros such as San Francisco, where the median listing price is approximately $1.2 million.

Sacramento is more than a government town. The economy is thriving thanks to a diverse range of key industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, entertainment, clean energy, technology, health care, and a robust housing market. Sacramento is a strategic location for businesses large and small who realize the opportunities the region provides to grow and flourish.

Image courtesy of Coruscating Images.

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