This was the burning question on everyone's mind, as the Central Coast leaders met last week to discuss the state of the national and local economy. The prevailing consensus was a reassuring 'probably not in 2024.' Let's delve into the critical insights I gathered that could impact businesses across the Central Coast.
On a national scale, Chris Thornberg a Founding Partner at Beacon Economics, predicted a relatively stable economy for the upcoming year. While monumental growth might not be on the immediate horizon, there are encouraging trends in consumer spending and GDP growth (increased at an annual rate of 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023).
Yet, it's not all smooth sailing. One of the pressing challenges we face on the Central Coast is our tight labor market. Numerous job openings exist, but there's a scarcity of available workers. The forecast offered invaluable suggestions for the economic development of our region:
The need for more affordable housing stands out prominently. In San Luis Obispo County, the mean wage required to buy a home was a staggering $214,800, emphasizing the necessity for more accessible housing options (Bureau of Labor Statistics, C.A.R).
Businesses are consistently starting on the Central Coast, but face hurdles when it comes to development. Finding solutions to retain these businesses is imperative for economic growth.
There is a shortage of childcare options in the area. Affordable childcare can unlock opportunities for more people to engage in full-time work, significantly bolstering our workforce.
Bottom Line: At Collaboration Business Consulting, our focus remains on empowering businesses to scale and thrive even in the face of challenges. Let's keep this conversation going and work together toward a more robust economic future for the Central Coast.