The Wenatchee unemployment rate hit a record low in October, equaling the mark of October 2006.  The 3.7% jobless rate this year and in 2006 are low water marks since electronic records were recorded starting in 1990

WA Employment Security Department
WA Employment Security Department
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As of this October, Regional Labor Economist Don Meseck estimated total nonfarm employment provided 50,300 jobs in the Wenatchee Labor Market (Chelan Douglas County)  That represented an increase of 1,800 jobs or 3.7% more than the 48,500 jobs recorded in his October 2022 report.

Wenatchee's job market has grown faster than the sate as a whole over the past six months. (see chart below)

WA Employment Security Department
WA Employment Security Department
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The Good News

Most job sectors up from October of 2022 with the exceptions of retail; where the number of jobs dropped by 100 to 6,500 and the number of federal government job payrolls remained unchanged at approximately 900.

  • While the state is experiencing contraction in the construction category in recent months, Wenatchee has fared better, expanding he number of local jobs for 35 consecutive months.
  • Leisure and hospitality is still bouncing back from the COVID pandemic with continued growth over the last 31 months, adding 600 jobs over last October for a 9% increase.
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The Bad News

Meseck points out there are fewer people actually seeking work this year than October last year, defined as the Civilian Labor Force.  That figure had expanded from July of 2022 through May of this year but has decreased in the five months since.

There are 2,300+ fewer people in Chelan and Douglas County seeking work than one year ago.  Meseck uses an analogy of there are fewer people in the pool but more of them are working.

While that helps produce a low unemployment rate, more people in the pool and working is the real sign of growth.

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Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

 

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