The Santa Cruz economy is powered by tourism, agriculture, high technology and education. Santa Cruz is a prominent organic agriculture area and includes the headquarters of California Certified Organic Farmers. Tourism is a significant factor for the economy due to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the popular beaches, the nearby redwood forests and Monterey Bay.
Management, professional and related occupations provide about 42% of the jobs in Santa Cruz. About 22% of the jobs are in sales and office occupations. Approximately 20% of the workforce is employed by the government.
Some of the most popular occupations in the Santa Cruz metro area where the majority of the workers are college graduates are registered nurses, teachers, sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing; financial managers and network systems and data communications analysts. Other jobs in this category include child, family and school social workers; sales managers, social and human service assistants, computer applications software engineers, computer programmers and computer systems software engineers.
Noteworthy data about Santa Cruz: The cost of living index in 2008 was 195.7 which is very high when compared to the national average of 100. Regarding the population more than 25 years of age, about 44% have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. The average earnings in Santa Cruz in 2009 was $39,000.
The primary employers in Santa Cruz are:
- Dominican Hospital - Hospitals
- Plantronics - Telephone equipment manufacturer
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - Amusement & Theme Parks
- Santa Cruz County Council - Government offices
- Santa Cruz County Sheriff Dept - Sheriff
- Santa Cruz Governmental Center - Government Offices
- Santa Cruz Health Center - Clinics
- Santa Cruz Medical Foundation - Physicians & surgeons
- Sierra Club - Santa Cruz County - Environmental organizations
- University of California - Santa Cruz - Education
- US Health & Human Services Dept - Government
- Santa Cruz Biotechnology - Biotechnology
- Giro Bicycle Helmets
- O'Neill Wetsuits
- O'Neill Surf Shops
- The Santa Cruz Guitar Company
- Santa Cruz Skateboards
- Kestrel Bicycles
- Santa Cruz Mountain Bikes
- Ventui International - Optical instruments & lenses manufacturer
- Fullpower Technologies
The primary sectors for jobs in Santa Cruz are:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Accommodation and food services
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
Business organizations which provide assistance to Santa Cruz companies include:
The Santa Cruz Sentinel offers up-to-date information regarding the business activities in Santa Cruz.