Economic Contributions

Salad Bowl of the World

Monterey County Agriculture pumps $11.7 billion into the local economy and supports more than 64,000 jobs, (former) Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales announced as he released an updated report of a comprehensive economic analysis of the county’s leading industry on July 21, 2020.

This report takes an important step …

beyond the Crop Report our department publishes each year. Instead of stopping at crop production values and acreage, it quantifies agriculture’s total economic contributions through production, local processing, employment, and economic multiplier effects. In short, this report uses twenty-first-century economic tools to document agriculture’s broader role in sustaining a thriving local economy.

The report shows …

that in 2018, agriculture contributed a total of $11.7 billion to the county economy. This far exceeded the $4.3 billion figure from our 2018 Crop Report. It also marked a 43.6% increase from the $8.1 billion total in a similar report we published in 2015, based on data from 2013.
Agriculture also supported 57,503 direct employees, which represented 22.8% of Monterey County’s total employment, or about one out of every five jobs.

In addition …

the report documents exceptional diversification within agriculture, which has implications for countywide economic resiliency. Finally, the study explores scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, wildfire protection and more than a dozen other non-market services that agricultural lands provide to society, with a rough estimated value ranging from $4.7 billion to $10.9 billion per year.

Highlights of the Report include:

  • With $4.1 billion in direct economic output (2021), agriculture was the county’s largest economic sector at 19.7% of total economic output. An additional $3.8 billion is contributed by processing facilties (value-added products).
  • Agriculture was directly responsible for 57,503 jobs — about one job in every five in Monterey County.
  • An additional 6,417 jobs are made possible by expenditures by agricultural companies and their employees.
  • Agritultural diversity provides critical economic stability, both within the Ag sector and to the wider county economy.
  • With investments in new technologies, future economic prosperity and sustainability will ensure success of the agricultural sector as it competes on the world market.
  • Monterey County Agricutlure pumps $1.33 million into the local economy each hour of every day.

The report, “Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture”, was released on June 21, 2020 in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors in Salinas.  Drs. Langholz and DePaolis, of Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, contributed their expert help in developign the data and models for this report.

“Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture” can be downloaded here.