Sacramento serves as California's state capital, making the government sector important to the region’s economy. During the past three decades, however, the local economy has diversified considerably, and government jobs now comprise just 27 percent of total employment, compared with 40 percent in 1970. In the near term, the state’s continued budget deficit will result in further government job cuts locally, but the long-term outlook for the sector appears better.
Sacramento’s seismic stability and relatively low business costs compared to other California metros attract major corporations seeking to relocate or establish operations in the region. Intel Corp., Apple Computer and Siemens Transportation Systems, among others, maintain facilities in the area.
The decommissioning of Mather Air Force Base to Mather Airport has created new trade and transportation opportunities, as many globally recognized cargo companies, such as Airborne Express and United Parcel Service, now use the former base to ship freight. McClellan Air Force Base has also been converted to civilian use, transforming into McClellan Park. The park is largely industrial and has been successful in attracting tenants, which include Northrop Grumman and J.C. Penney.
The Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville metro is located in the middle of the 400-mile-long Central Valley. The northern part of the Central Valley has been developed as a fertile agricultural region. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are located to the east, and the Sacramento and American rivers traverse the region. Sacramento is flat grassland subject to seasonal flooding. Unlike the nearby San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento is seismically quiet.
The Sacramento metro is comprised of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties and contains almost 2.2 million persons. Sacramento is the largest city and the state capital, with more than 476,300 residents. During the next five years, population growth in the area will outpace that of the nation at a rate of 1.1 percent per year.