Ajsa Suljic is Employment Security’s regional labor economist for Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Garfield, Franklin and Walla Walla counties.
Walla Walla and Columbia County employers added over 220 jobs from December 2013 to December 2014. The job market in the area started improving in November 2013, which marks 14 months of consecutive job growth in the area. This is evidence that the job market is improving with better business confidence to hire, due to larger demand for business products or services.
The unemployment rate in Walla Walla County decreased to 6.7 percent in December 2014, while the Columbia County unemployment rate increased to 11.1 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in December 2013. The increase in the Columbia County unemployment rate is attributed to more individuals coming back into the labor force, which increased by 70 people over the year.