Unemployment rate continues to drop for Yakima County in 2018

Unemployment rate continues to drop for Yakima County in 2018

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - A recent report shows unemployment is continuing to drop in Yakima County and more jobs are available.

The Washington State Employment Security Department released unemployment rates Tuesday showing the unemployment rate has fallen from 11.2 percent in January of 2017 to 9.4 percent in January of 2018.

Regional Labor Economist Donald Meseck says, for 11 consecutive months we have had a continuous decline of unemployment rates.

Meseck says, the unemployment rate for January 2018 is breaking records.

“It’s the lowest January unemployment rate that we’ve had since we started compiling data in 1990, so it’s the lowest January rate in 27 years," said Meseck.

Meseck says as unemployment rates go down more jobs become available.

According to WSESD nonfarm jobs have had a 5.5 percent increase from last year.

Meseck says the industries with the biggest increase in jobs are manufacturing, health care and social assistance and local government.

Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce Vice President Thane Phelan says, the reason for the low unemployment rates in Yakima could be because we are getting new businesses here and opening new jobs for people.

“We have seen a sharp increase in new businesses coming to Yakima and that’s always going to increase the amount of jobs available," said Phelan.

Phelan says the drop-in unemployment could affect business owners because they have many positions open but not enough people to hire.

“We work with a few employment agencies here in town and they say they are having a hard time finding a skilled workforce and that is really important especially as we get more of these jobs that require skills," said Phelan.

Meseck says, if the unemployment rate keeps dropping the economy of Yakima will get better and more people will be able to find jobs.

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