Back On The Upswing & The Opportunities Ahead
By: Josh Cross, Interim CEO & President of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

Great news, our community’s on the upswing with employment levels falling. Our county has the 6th lowest unemployment rate, trending at 5.6% in April, out of California. According to The San Luis Obispo County Monthly Employment Report, industries like Government, Construction, Logging, and Mining experienced the most significant job growth, followed by sectors like Trade, Transportation, Utilities, and Professional Business Services. All other industries roughly stayed the same in our community. Specific to our town of Atascadero, our estimated number of employed individuals, as listed by the Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP), is 13,200, and the number of unemployed individuals is 700, giving us an unemployment rate of 5.4%.

What do these numbers mean for our community? Well, I believe it presents us with both opportunities and challenges. First, with a high level of employed individuals, we have a community that can afford to shop, support, and contribute to local small businesses and nonprofits more than they could previously. There’s a significant opportunity to connect with eager shoppers and residents ready to enjoy their 2021. This is why the Chamber’s working harder than ever to connect our business community to local shoppers through our online business directory, community calendar, newsletters, social media, and more! Throughout 2021 and beyond, you can continue to expect the Chamber to spearhead new programs, events, and workshops to help our business community thrive.

On the other hand, low unemployment is a challenge for employers who are looking to attract workers. Over the past month, the Chamber has received an increase in the number of calls and emails from business owners who are desperate for help. This is why the Chamber team and I are working on ways to assist with this regional challenge. Locally, we are planning on hosting one or more job fairs, we are publishing job postings on behalf of our members, and are working with our businesses, so they understand where to look for applicants.

We’ve had a challenging previous year, and I’m beyond thrilled to see a positive rebound. We faced the obstacles of 2020 together, and now we can move forward together into 2021. It really does take an incredible community, like what we have, to make our city Atasca-mazing.

-Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber CEO

Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP) April 2021 – Preliminary. (2021). Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division.

SLO County Monthly Labor Market Information – May 2021. Workforce Development Board County of San Luis Obispo. (2021, May).


Josh Cross

President & CEO of the Atascadero Chamber | Josh Cross

Josh Cross is a longtime Central Coast local, having grown up right here in Atascadero. He has a strong knowledge of governmental and community issues, in addition to economic development. Previously he worked as the Director of Economic Development for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, and has always been passionate about the incredible work Chambers can do for their community.