Descriptive Title: Jobs per square mile

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Census tract

Jobs per square mile (2009)
NeighborhoodJobsSquare MilesJob Density
Bayview/Hunter's Point 17,150 4.9 3,504
Bernal Heights 2,610 1.2 2,235
Castro/Upper Market 5,798 0.9 6,772
Chinatown 10,773 0.1 80,496
Excelsior 3,568 1.6 2,226
Financial District/South Beach 161,000 0.7 232,016
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park 339 1.7 201
Haight Ashbury 5,571 0.8 7,304
Hayes Valley
Inner Richmond 8,948 1.3 6,813
Inner Sunset 22,797 1.3 17,077
Lakeshore 10,208 3.6 2,800
Lincoln Park
Lone Mountain/USF
Marina 8,238 1.0 8,498
McLaren Park
Mission 21,798 1.7 12,597
Mission Bay
Nob Hill 7,100 0.4 19,260
Noe Valley 2,139 0.9 2,385
North Beach 18,719 0.6 29,997
Outer Mission 4,813 1.4 3,499
Outer Richmond 4,369 1.4 3,219
Pacific Heights 9,099 0.7 13,586
Potrero Hill 9,162 1.4 6,683
Presidio 4,676 2.4 1,966
Presidio Heights 6,204 0.4 14,106
Russian Hill 5,036 0.5 10,562
San Francisco 543,026 47.1 11,519
Seacliff 460 0.7 638
South of Market 91,057 1.4 65,828
Treasure Island 721 0.9 812
Twin Peaks 1,348 0.7 2,032
Visitacion Valley 2,150 1.5 1,450
West of Twin Peaks 2,725 1.9 1,440
Western Addition 22,789 1.5 15,026

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

For working age adults, employment is a fundamental resource for good health.a Employment is the primary source of income for working age adults and is necessary for material needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and leisure.b

Residence in the city of employment creates health benefits through reducing commuting times and through the use of public transit and more "active" commutes. Shorter commuting times allow for increased time for physical activity, family interactions, community engagement, and leisure/rest. Active commutes, via walking or bicycling, help meet requirements for physical activity, and reduce the environmental consequences of driving.

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

The map above illustrates the density of jobs per square mile in San Francisco by census tract. The table provides the data aggregated at the Planning District level. In San Francisco, one out of every three jobs is located in the Financial District, one of every six jobs is located in the South of Market and one of every twelve jobs is located in the Downtown/Civic Center.  Due to this high number of jobs, these three neighborhoods have the highest density of jobs per square mile, along with Chinatown.  The neighborhoods with the lowest number and density of jobs are Golden Gate Park, Seacliff, and Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island, along with Crocker Amazon.

As illustrated in the map, the greatest concentration and density of jobs is in the northeastern quadrant of San Francisco.  However, other areas – notably the census tracts which contain major health care facilities (such as UCSF Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center campuses, and Kaiser Hospital) and large universities including the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University have higher worker density compared to the other surrounding areas.

Over the past fifty years, the U.S., including San Francisco, has experienced a restructuring of its economy, with a decline in the manufacturing sector and a growth in retail and service sectors. California's economy is fostering far more growth among high- and low-wage jobs compared to middle-income jobs ( Such changes have implications for wages earned, wage inequality, levels of education necessary to get jobs, and levels of unionization among workers.  


Data was obtained from the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Partnership of the US Census Bureau.  The LED Partnership defines a job as a link between a worker and a firm at which the worker has been employed during the reference quarter and during the quarter prior to the reference quarter. The reference quarter is Quarter 2 (April-June) of the year of interest. This definition of "job" is sometimes called a "Beginning of Quarter" job because it is assumed that the worker was employed at that firm on the first day of the reference quarter.

The LED Partnership builds its data infrastructure based upon several core datasets provided by state partners. These include Unemployment Insurance wage data and the Quarterly Census of Employment in Wages. Coverage under these datasets currently excludes several groups of workers. These include:

  • Federal Civilian Employees
  • Uniformed Military
  • Self-Employed Workers
  • Informally Employed Workers

Projects are currently underway to add Federal Civilian Employees and Self-Employed Workers to the LED data infrastructure. For further updates on these projects, please visit the main LED homepage

If a worker is employed at more than one job during the referenced period and those jobs are covered by the core datasets, then all of those jobs will be captured in the dataset.

Numbers of jobs were obtained at the census block level. Blocks were aggregated to census tracts for mapping and to neighborhoods for the table. We used  ArcGIS software and a 'centroids within' methodology to convert census blocks to geographic mean center points. We then assigned census blocks to planning neighborhoods based on the spatial location of those geographic mean center points and calculated the planning neighborhood totals for the table. Density was calculated by dividing the number of jobs in a tract or neighborhood by that geography’s area in square miles.


Workers refers to all persons 16 years or older who was present at work during the reference quarter. This excludes employees who were absent due to illness, vacation, personal business or other reasons during this quarter and the prior quarter.  The data also excludes federal civilian employees, uniformed military, self-employed workers, and informally employed workers. 

The exclusion of self-employed workers is potentially a major limitation to the data source in San Francisco, given that 49,392 households in San Francisco reported earning self-employed income in 2009 (or 15.2% of all San Francisco households), according to the 2009 American Community Survey.

Jobs are reported by the employer’s address, which may not necessarily be where the employee works.  Certain types of jobs may be more likely to be accurately represented than others in this dataset.   For example, financial, managerial, professional jobs are more likely to be accurately counted due to payroll tax records compared to service jobs which may be more likely to be paid under the table and undercounted in economic censuses.

Data is from 2009, which was amidst the economic recession.  Unemployment for certain sectors may have increased while employment may have increased others.   Finally, this map shows the location of jobs but does not address the quality of the jobs – e.g. wages or benefits associated with the jobs by location.  

Data Source

Data from Longitudinal Employer–Household Dynamics (LEHD) Survey, 2009. Available at:

Map and table created by San Francisco Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.

Map data is presented at the level of the census tract, which was calculated by assigning census block data to census tracts based on numbering. The map also includes planning neighborhood names, in the vicinity of their corresponding census tracts.

Table data is presented by planning neighborhood. While planning neighborhoods are larger geographic areas than census tracts, census tracts do not always lie completely within a planning neighborhood. SFDPH used ArcGIS software and a 'centroids within' methodology to convert census blocks to geographic mean center points. We then assigned blocks to planning neighborhoods based on the spatial location of those geographic mean center points and calculated the planning neighborhood totals for the table.

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

  1. The Solid Facts: Social Determinants of Health. World Health Organization. Europe 2004.
  2. Morris JN, Donkin AJ, Wonderling D, Wilkinson P, Dowler EA. A minimum income for healthy living. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000; 54(12):885-9.