The latest jobs report for Wenatchee revealed a jump in unemployment and a continued shrinking labor force.  Regional labor economist Don Meseck with the Washington State the Employment Security Department reported the jobless figures for December.

Meseck's analysis shows a 6.1% unemployment rate for the Wenatchee Labor Market in Chelan.Douglas County in December. The jobless rate jumped 1.2% from the prior month of November and was a second consecutive year-over-year increase.  The Wenatchee labor market unemployment rates had been lower than the same month the prior year for 19 consecutive months from April 2021 to October 2022  The jump in the number of unemployed in December (3,945 workers) was almost 37% above  December of 2021.


Credit; Washington Employment security
Credit; Washington Employment security

Meseck explains there is a smaller universe of workers defined as the labor force and more people out of work which tends to dramatically skew the swings in unemployment figures. "what really caused it is our labor force was softer this year, we had about a roughly 100 fewer residents in the labor force, but we had over one thousand more people unemployed"

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Meseck reports the Wenatchee labor force, defined as adults ready willing and able to work, has contracted eight consecutive months since May when compared to the amount of people who were in the workforce prior to the COVID pandemic in 2019.

Don Meseck is regional labor economist for thw Washington Employment Security Department.  His reports for labor markets in Central Washington can be found here

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