A new report from Apartment List claims that service workers have been the hardest hit by rent increases in San Diego over the last decade. Money left after paying rent by San Diego service workers such as waiters, healthcare supporters, and retail workers dropped by 8.6 percent from 2005 to 2015. That’s a larger drop than the nationwide average decrease of 7 percent, but not as high as San Jose where service workers have lost 19.9 percent of their money. Apartment List used U.S. Census data and adjusted for inflation to break all workers down into three categories: service, blue collar and knowledge. Across the country, knowledge workers had the most post-rent gains, while blue collar and service workers watched their wallets shrink.
San Diego blue collar workers such as construction workers, movers, and bus drivers saw their money after rent decrease by 3.7 percent over the decade studied. However, knowledge workers such as tech workers, doctors, and engineers in San Diego saw their money after paying rent increase by 6.4 percent in the last decade, about 0.4 percent more than the national average. Apartment List researchers stated that they were trying to show which regions had “inclusive growth,” which is an economy that benefits all workers. Because of stagnant wages and rising rents, the study found most blue collar and service workers were unfortunately worse off than a decade ago. Nationwide, service workers in 2015 made up the majority of the workforce, 49 percent, with blue collar workers making up 25.2 percent, and knowledge at 25.8 percent. The study is very helpful in determining which work group might be the most affected by housing costs.