Labor area summary for Yakima County, January 2015

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

This report incorporates not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm employment and civilian labor force data. Analysis focuses on year-over-year (between January 2014 and January 2015) and average annual (between 2013 and 2014) changes in the labor market.

Unemployment rates
Preliminary labor force data show that Washington state’s average annual not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased nine-tenths of a percentage point between 2013 and 2014, from 7.0 percent to 6.1 percent. Between the Januarys of 2014 and 2015, the rate stabilized at 7.0 percent.

In Yakima County, preliminary data indicate that the average annual unemployment rate decreased nine-tenths of a percentage point between 2013 and 2014, from 9.2 to 8.3 percent. However, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose five-tenths of a point in January 2015 to 12.3 percent, from 11.8 percent in January 2014 (as shown in Figure 1). Why? The number of unemployed residents grew more rapidly than the labor force, hence this five-tenths point year-over-year rise in the rate.

 

Yakima County unemployment rate

Figure 1. Yakima County’s unemployment rate increased five-tenths of a percentage point between January 2014 and January 2015.

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Sweet news: It’s cherry season!

The great Columbia Basin cherry harvest is in full swing. Cherry trees are producing their luscious fruit in orchards and neighborhood yards throughout our region.
cherries-1

You may be fortunate enough to have a cherry tree in your yard —but even for those of us who don’t — it’s usually only a short drive to a nearby orchard to satisfy the craving for fresh and delicious cherries.

Cherry season not only provides fresh fruit, it also adds nearly $385.2 million dollars to Washington’s $9.12 billion agricultural economy. Continue reading