Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara, California is known as "the American Riviera." The city of 90,385 people is nestled between the towering Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. Santa Barbara's economy depends heavily on a thriving tourism industry and is also buttressed by five major academic institutions, including the University of California Santa Barbara. Near the city is Los Padres National Forest, a pristine wilderness area that contains streams, mountains, beaches and rivers. Altitudes in the area vary from sea level to 9,000 feet on Mount Pinos.
The cost of living in Santa Barbara, CA is 23.9 percent above the national average. The median home price is a whopping $617,400, and the median household income from Santa Barbara jobs is $59,120. Home prices rose by 30.7 percent last year in the city, and household income declined by 0.1 percent. The average commute in Santa Barbara is 19 minutes.
Santa Barbara Job Opportunities
Education, health care and government are the largest suppliers of jobs in Santa Barbara, CA. The University of California Santa Barbara is the city's largest employer, with 6,200 employees in an array of education jobs in Santa Barbara. Next is the County of Santa Barbara, with 4,000 employees, then Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, with 2,500 employees. Santa Barbara City College, a 74-acre community college, employs about 2,000 people. The city's fifth-largest employer is the Santa Barbara School District, employing 1,800 people.
Raytheon, a technology and defense company, offers about 1,500 Santa Barbara, CA jobs. The Sansum Clinic, City of Santa Barbara, United States Postal Service and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust all employ about 1,000 people each in the city.
Santa Barbara Employment Trends
Forbes ranks Santa Barbara 77th in the country for job growth. In 2013, the California city saw job growth of 2.6 percent and is predicted to experience growth of 1.8 percent in 2014. As of July 2014, Santa Barbara had an impressively low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. This is considerably lower than the California average of 7.4 percent and the national average of 6.2 percent. Last year, high-tech employment accounted for 6.4 percent of the workforce.
Job seekers who cannot find Santa Barbara jobs might try looking for jobs in Goleta, CA, which has an even lower unemployment rate of 2.9 percent and is only about eight miles to the west of Santa Barbara. Nearby Santa Monica, on the other hand, has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.