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County Agriculture Harvests Billions For Local Economy

San Joaquin County agriculture pumped $5.732 billion into the local economy in 2018 and supported more than 33,000 jobs. Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican reported those figures during a recent county Board of Supervisors meeting as he released the most comprehensive economic analysis to date of a key county industry.

“This study goes beyond our annual agricultural crop report.” said Pelican. “It captures not just the direct effects of farm production, but also local food processing, employment, and their ripple effects. During these uncertain economic times, it’s important to better understand how and where agriculture contributes to our economy and to local employment.”

To put the contribution in perspective, San Joaquin County agriculture pumped over $15.7 million into the county economy per day, or more than $654,000 per hour.

The study and subsequent report, “Economic Contributions of San Joaquin County Agriculture”, was conducted for the Office of the Agricultural Commissioner by Drs. Jeff Langholz and Fernando DePaolis of Agricultural Impact Associates, a consulting firm specializing in agricultural economics.

Key findings include:

• Of the $5.732 billion in total economic contribution, $3.979 billion came from direct economic output via production and processing, representing 7.1 percent of the county’s total direct economic output, about one out of every 14 dollars.

• An additional $1.753 billion came from multiplier effects, including purchase of agricultural supplies and spending by employees.

• Of the 33,737 total jobs agriculture supported, 29,986 were direct employees in production and processing. This represents 9.0 percent of all county employment or about one out of every 11 jobs. The remaining 3,751 jobs were made possible through expenditures by agriculture companies, their suppliers, and employees.

• With a diversification index of 0.63, agriculture’s level of economic resiliency is quite high compared to other California counties, and provides critical economic stability to the industry and county.

“This report shows the importance of San Joaquin County agriculture as both an employer and a powerful economic engine,” concluded San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chair, Kathy Miller. “Every dollar earned creates ripples that support a healthy local economy.”