The latest unemployment numbers for the Wenatchee area show a more than one-percentage-point drop from the previous month, which follows a yearly trend.

The unemployment rate in March was 5.8%, down from 6.9% in February (March is the most recent month, with numbers released in late April.)  Unemployment in the Wenatchee area typically reaches its lowest level in July and peaks in January or February.

But the numbers do show a spike in the jobless rate year over year as the rate of %5.8 for March is nearly a full percentage point over the rate of %4.9 in March of 2023. The 6.9% unemployment rate in February was the highest level of any month during the past two-plus years.

Over recent history, the Wenatchee area (120,000 residents in Chelan and Douglas counties composing the Metropolitan Statistical Area - MSA) has been tracking at about one percentage point higher than the state average for unemployment.

One bright spot in the latest jobs report is the steady growth of non-farm jobs in Wenatchee, with the labor market expanding for 36 consecutive months (April 2021 through March 2024)

Also, even with the higher unemployment rate year over year, more people are working in the Wenatchee area. The nonfarm market provided 49,600 jobs in March 2024, a gain of 1,900 jobs since March 2023.

In terms of job sectors, Mining, logging, and construction have shown the biggest gains over the last year in Wenatchee at 11.4%. It was followed by Leisure and hospitality at 9.2%, Trade, transportation, warehousing and utilities at 7.2% and manufacturing at 7.1%

The numbers are compiled by the Washington Employment Security Department.

LOOK: Counties With the Highest Unemployment in Washington

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Washington using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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