The new jobs report for the Wenatchee area has both positive and negative signs. 

The unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is the lowest reading for the month of August since county-level unemployment data began to be recorded electronically in 1990. 

But the total number of people employed in the area is down by 200 from August of last year. 

State economist Don Meseck says the drop is relatively small but is a step in the wrong direction for the Wenatchee labor market. 

Meseck will be watching to see if the numbers show a trend. 

Year over year, the Wenatchee area labor force had expanded for 11 months before decreasing in the past three months. In August, there were 1,587 fewer Chelan or 

Douglas County residents in the civilian labor force than in August of last year, a -2.3 percent downturn. On the positive side, there were 830 fewer residents out of work in the Wenatchee area versus in August 2022, a -23.4 percent decrease.  

The year-over-year decrease in the number of unemployed more than offset the drop in the Wenatchee area labor force and pushed the local unemployment rate down one and one-tenth points, from 5.0 percent in August 2022 to 3.9 percent in August 2023. 

Job sectors performing well over the last year include private education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and federal government which provided more August 2022 to August 2023. 

Meanwhile, the construction and private services providing sectors lost jobs. 

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