The San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan area has a rich and vibrant economy. Tourism makes up a major part of the San Francisco economy. San Francisco ranks as one of the world's top fifty tourist destinations. San Francisco also has a large conference and convention industry.
Tourism is not the only part of the San Francisco economy, however. San Francisco is the main banking and finance center for the west coast of the United States. San Francisco also has strong ties to the high technology industry in the Silicon Valley to the south.
Major industries in the San Francisco metropolitan area include:
- Environmental technology
- Information technology
- Professional services
The San Francisco metropolitan area is home to over fifteen Fortune 1000 Company headquarters, the largest of which is McKesson. The most famous companies located in the San Francisco are are probably the Gap, Levi Strauss, Oracle, Wells Fargo, and Williams Sonoma.
Helping to drive the San Francisco area economy is a very well educated work force. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, San Francisco has the second most educated workforce in the U.S. among large cities. 51% of the San Francisco population has a college degree or higher. Similarly, in 2005, Central Connecticut State University ranked San Francisco as the fifth most literate city in the United States. Expansion Management magazine ranked the San Francisco area third on its list of "Best Knowledge Worker Metro".
San Francisco also gets the tenth largest amount of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of all U.S. cities.
Business honors and awards received by the San Francisco metropolitan area include:
- The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area was ranked 28th among the top fifty large U.S. cities/metropolitan areas on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of "Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs".
- Expansion Management magazine ranked the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area as a "Five Star Business Opportunity Metro".
- The San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City area ranked 60th among large U.S. Cities in Inc. magazine's 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business".
- According to SustainLane, San Francisco ranks second among 50 major cities for sustainable services and economics.
For business travelers, the San Francisco area is served by the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). According to Airports Council International, SFO is the 14th busiest airport in the U.S., and the 23rd largest in the world. According the the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, SFO was the sixth largest U.S. gateway for nonstop international air travel in 2000.
The Port of San Francisco is reputedly one of the three great natural harbors in the world. It has a major impact on the San Francisco economy and is a major tourist attraction as well.
Fortune 1000 companies with headquarters in the San Francisco metropolitan area include:
- Charles Schwab
- Del Monte Foods
- Electronic Arts
- Franklin Resources
- Gilead Sciences
- Levi Strauss
- PG&E Corp.
- Robert Half Intl.
- Siebel Systems
- Wells Fargo
Other companies with headquarters or with a large employment presence in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan area include:
- AAA Travel
- Adteractive Inc.
- All Star Consulting Inc.
- Anshen + Allen
- Bechtel Corp.
- Burr, Pilger & Mayer LLP
- Business Wire
- Cannon Constructors Inc.
- Casto Travel Inc
- Chemoil Corp
- Chong Partners Architecture Inc.
- Dome Construction Corp.
- Fenwick & West LLP
- Fisher Development Inc.
- Gyro Group
- Headsets.com Inc.
- Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP
- Jamba Juice Co.
- Jessica McClintock Inc.
- KN Ltd.
- Littier Mendelson PC
- Ly Brothers Corp.
- McGuire Real Estate
- Microgear Inc.
- Morrison & Foerster LLP
- Nibbi Brothers Construction
- Novogradac & Co. LLP
- One Workplace L. Ferrari
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
- Pier 39
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Plant Construction Co. LP
- Resource and Design Inc.
- Ryan Associates
- Stratagem Healthcare Communications LLC
- Swinerton, Inc.
- Thelen Reid & Priest LLP
- Thomas Weisel Partners LLC
- University Games
- Visa International
- Wilbur-Ellis Co.
- Wild Planet Toys
- Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
- Working Assets Inc.
- Zephyr Real Estate
Business organizations and associations in the San Francisco metropolitan area include:
- The San Francisco Center For Economic Development
- The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
- The San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce
- The South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
- The Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce
The San Francisco Business Times, and the "Business Section" of the San Francisco Chronicle are both good sources of information on the San Francisco metropolitan area economy and business.