Hiring the long-term unemployed

Marlena Sessions, chief executive officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, recently posted a guest column for the U.S. Department of Labor Blog.

Her topic is the long-term unemployed and what Washington state is doing to help these workers get hired.

Read the blog post by Marlena Sessions.

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Benton and Franklin Counties: 2014 in review & 2015 outlook

Ajsa Suljic is Employment Security’s regional labor economist for Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Garfield, Franklin and Walla Walla counties.

Economic conditions for Benton and Franklin Counties in 2014 showed significant growth in nonfarm employment and improvement in the labor market.

Economic conditions are showing movement in business confidence for hiring, as well as, more workforce confidence to get hired.

The two county area total nonfarm payroll employment increased for 21 consecutive months, reaching a 5.1 percent growth in December, with unemployment rate at 8.8 percent, according to preliminary not seasonally adjusted estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

graph of nonfarm employment for Benton County

Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Yakima County – Labor Area Summary 12/2014

By Donald  Meseck, ESD’s regional labor economist serving Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan and Yakima counties.

Join Donald Meseck at the Yakima Convention Center at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, February 9, 2015 as he presents “Yakima County Economy – 2014 in Review” to the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. Event details.

Unemployment rates
In Yakima County, preliminary data indicate that the average annual unemployment rate decreased one and one-tenths percentage points between 2013 and 2014, from 9.2 to 8.1 percent. However, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose four-tenths of a point in December 2014 to 10.8 percent, from 10.4 percent in December 2013 (as shown in Figure 1). Why? The number of unemployed residents grew more rapidly than the labor force, hence this four-tenths point year-over-year rise in the rate.

Graph of Yakima County unemployment rates

Figure 1: Yakima County unemployment rates, Jan. 2012-Dec. 2014 (not seasonally adjusted).

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