The city of Santa Cruz has maintained a high unemployment rate for several years. Competition among all job industries is fierce. Most jobs are concentrated in a few industries including food service, education, government, personal services and business services. Santa Cruz jobs pay an average of 4 percent higher than the national hourly wage. People employed in the fields of law, architecture, engineering, healthcare, protective services, food service and administrative support earn wages that are greater than 10 percent above the hourly national wages for these occupations.
Santa Cruz Job Market
Key job sectors in Santa Cruz include leisure and hospitality, food service, personal services, government and educational services. These are also the fastest growing industries in the city. Job opportunities in the city include teachers, housekeeping and zoning enforcement inspector jobs. Candidates who are multilingual have increased opportunities to gain employment in the city.
Santa Cruz Employment Trends
Santa Cruz fared poorly during the 2008 - 2009 recession. The city's unemployment rate rose to around 15 percent for several months during 2010 and 2011. The unemployment rate remained in the double digits for several years. In the most recent 12 months, the city's unemployment rate has oscillated but remained near the 10 percent level. As of June 2014, the unemployment rate is expected to continue to drop slightly if current trends continue.
Santa Cruz Cost of Living
The cost of living in Santa Cruz is much higher than the national average. Residents in the city pay much higher amounts for housing, utilities, groceries and transportation. City residents who own a home may qualify for property tax subsidies if they live in the home. Residents who meet income guidelines may also qualify for healthcare subsidies for purchasing health insurance.