Located on the Pacific coast in Central California, Monterey is considered the state's First City, since it was once the capital of Alta California. Situated squarely between Silicon Valley and some of California's most stunning coastal landscapes, Monterey residents enjoy a unique perspective.
The cost of living in Monterey is nearly twice the national average. Basics like utilities, transportation, health care and even groceries cost about 10 percent more than the national average, and housing in the Monterey area costs about three and a half times more than the average across the U.S. Hourly wages in the Monterey area, however, are on par with the national average.
Monterey, California Job Opportunities
Monterey jobs are plentiful in a few key industries. The office and administrative support, fishing, food services, sales and education industries employ the largest number of people in this area. Fast growing industries include professional and business services, trade and transportation and finance. In contrast, the industries that exhibit the slowest growth include construction, manufacturing and mining. The largest employers in the Monterey and greater Salinas area include McGraw Hill, the Pebble Beach Company, Monterey Peninsula College and California State University Monterey Bay.
Monterey jobs that boast the highest hourly rates include management, health care, legal, business and finance, and architecture and engineering. People who work in food services, transportation and production tend to earn the least per hour.
Monterey, California Employment Trends
The Monterey area was hit particularly hard by the 2008 recession. Unemployment rose to over 15 percent in early 2009 and peaked at nearly 18 percent in early 2010. The area has continued to experience bursts of unemployment, with rates over 10 percent in early 2014 and early 2015. The unemployment rate in Monterey decreased to about 6 percent in mid-2015, about 1 percent higher than the national average.