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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading