Wenatchee’s Labor Pool is Shrinking
Labor Economist Don Meseck recently provided the Monthly Employment Report for June, reporting that Wenatchee’s labor pool is shrinking despite low unemployment rates.
Don Meseck covers labor economic trends in Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, and Yakima Counties.
Meseck’s report reads: “The concerning news, this expansion ceased with a -1.6 percent shrinkage in the Wenatchee MSA’s labor force between June of 2021 and 2022.”
Between June 2021 to June 2022, Wenatchee had an additional 2,300 jobs during 2021. The unemployment rate also dropped from 5.6 to 3.9 percent. This is after already falling from 8.2 percent to 5.4 percent a year prior.
Roughly, there are 1,129 fewer Chelan or Douglas residents in the labor pool compared to June, 2021, with resident employment dropping by 549 people.
Meanwhile, the Wenatchee real estate market saw a -8.4 decrease in closed sales, with 39 less homes sold than the year prior. In that same time frame, the number of active listings has skyrocketed 423.3%.
Job sectors that grew include: construction, private education, health services, leisure and hospitality.
Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 6.1 percent with 400 jobs, however that is -5.4 percent less than the pre-COVID era of June 2019 and haven’t fully recovered since the start of the pandemic.