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San Mateo County is 19 miles south of San Francisco, 22 miles north of San Jose, and 415 miles north of Los Angeles. The area includes 20 cities and has an estimated population of 714,500 residents. Estimated total employment is 402,300 with a county unemployment rate of 3.1%. Construction at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the BART extension to SFO have helped the construction industry. The San Mateo Area has seen a 71% growth rate for construction and mining positions in the past five years. The services sector accounts for 34% of all jobs and grew 12% in the past fiscal year, making it the largest and fastest growing industry for several years. The City of San Mateo, in San Mateo County, captures a strong percentage of the County’s taxable sales at retail stores.

Exceptional help is available to individuals interested in starting a business in San Mateo County. A list of the common requirements for starting a business is available from the San Mateo Chamber office at no charge, including the addresses and phone numbers of the institutions a new firm may need to contact. The City's Business License Department is also a fountain of information regarding types of licenses required for specific types of businesses.

Free business counseling is available at the Chamber through the Small Business Administration's SCORE program. One hour appointments with the SCORE counselor may be made by calling the San Mateo Area Chamber at (650) 341-5679.

Jobs in San Mateo County are expected to increase eight percent from 2001 to 2008. More than half of this job growth is expected to come from four occupations: computers and mathematical sciences, sales and related industries, management and life, physical and social sciences. The county’s job base is well diversified among several industries and company sizes, which might party explain why the unemployment rate is consistently less than the state and national average rates. The two largest industries, professional and business services and trade, combined account for one-third of the total employment.


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