The North County is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers, with the region’s median income now below its cost of living. This has led to a wave of companies moving into our area, but at what cost?

In a recent study conducted by the North County Business Journal, it was revealed that there is an employee shortage in the North County. With only 47% of workforce being available for work and many businesses looking to expand their operations from San Diego to other locations, what are your thoughts on this issue?

San Luis Obispo County has California’s 8th lowest unemployment rate.

Christianna Marks is the author of this article.

NORTH COUNTY, ARKANSAS — Signs requesting assistance have appeared all across the North County. In storefront displays, on the internet, and even on the radio. The proliferation of these advertisements suggests that there are lots of employment openings in the area, but they aren’t being filled.

For almost a month, Dr. Rick Wearda’s Templeton dental office has been advertising for a Dental Assistant. They received three answers in all, and in the end, they rehired a prior employee to fill the position full-time.

We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero


“In general, there hasn’t been much interest [in the role].” On Craigslist right now, there are two pages of dentists seeking for dental assistants. And many of them are just looking for dental assistants, not certified dental assistants. “You can do a lot more than just be a dental assistant if you’re registered,” says Patty McCall, the receptionist at Dr. Wearda’s clinic.

McCall has worked in Dr. Wearda’s office for almost 14 years and has seen many different personnel come and go.

“I’ve heard from others who have left the dental business that they’re having trouble filling their vacancies. My fiancé works for Kia in Paso Robles. They aren’t attracting someone who is seeking for a sales position. So they’ve been short-staffed for quite some time. People aren’t even coming in to fill out applications. There used to be someone there all the time. Patty McCall remarked, “They’ve always had some applications.”

San Luis Obispo County now has the seventh lowest unemployment rate in California. Unemployment rates fell from 5.5 percent in August to 4.6 percent in September, although workers remain scarce.

“On Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Indeed, I have employment vacancies for a line cook. Because there are so many available cook jobs, I had to spend over $500 to keep it [the ad] visible. Indeed did not provide me with any leads. There is a $500 investment with no return. I too haven’t received any line-cooks. That is exactly what we need. We’re a tavern with a family-friendly atmosphere. “It’s not fine dining, and I understand that’s not the most appealing, but there have to be individuals out there who have talents and want to work,” says Jacque Fields, president and co-founder of Atascadero’s Wild Fields Brewhouse.

The staff shortage is clearly having a detrimental impact on North County small companies. However, external factors like as the pandemic have an impact.

“I believe a big part of it for us is that our business isn’t constant, which makes it difficult to truly pull the trigger and recruit people full-time.” And people’s feelings of comfort aren’t always constant. As a result, you’re up against a lot of variables. As a result, as a company owner or a manager, you don’t want to say, ‘Hey, come on full time,’ and then not provide those possibilities,” Fields says.

The employment scarcity has hit Spearhead Coffee in Paso Robles as well, but they’ve been lucky in locating workers.

“We are fortunate to have baristas, bakers, and roasters who have been with us for a long time and are loyal to us and our brand,” says co-owner and CEO Jeremy Sizemore. “However, we have noticed that when it comes time to add to our team, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the right fit with the current employee shortage.”

“We were able to fill the posts, although it took a little longer than normal. After speaking with our coffee community pals, we’ve learned that we’ve been quite lucky. Sizemore remarked, “It hasn’t been as simple for our industry’s allies.”

In the past year, Templeton’s Chulo’s Café and Cantina has had to shut twice. Due to a staffing shortage, each time lasted at least a week.

“I’ve been on the lookout for personnel for at least a year. And there was no luck. We haven’t received any applications from the adverts I’ve placed on the internet and on Facebook. To the point where I inquire, “Do you know anyone?” whenever I walk to the supermarket or whatever. ‘Do you need employment?’ Anywhere. It’s just been a test. I’m severely understaffed. We don’t have another chef or another staff to hop on the evening [shift], so I can’t open for meals like I used to. And I don’t want to overwork my employees,” adds Karol Struble, the company’s owner.

Due to the labor scarcity, many business owners are working several jobs.

“I’ve been helping out every day.” You know what’s required—everything. One day, I may work as a dishwasher. Another day, I may be a chef. Another day, I could be a waiter. Another day, I could be a busser. Because of the scenario, it’s quite difficult for me to obtain a day off,” Struble explains. “It’s insane, but it’s true.”

If the downward trend in unemployment rates continues, local company owners should be able to fill their job opportunities in the months ahead, particularly with the Christmas season coming.

As an example:

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