Part Time Jobs, a troubling trend in the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Part Time Jobs, a troubling trend in the Tri-Cities

Part Time Jobs, a troubling trend in the Tri-Cities

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KENNEWICK, Wash., -- Harley Grinder of Kennewick works two jobs to get by.
He works part time at a telecom company in Walla Walla and is listed as a full time employee at Tree Top in Prosser.

The problem is Tree Top, the agricultural giant, had a relatively slow harvest and it's difficult for Grinder to work enough hours. This is a common problem for many residents in the Tri-Cities.

Candice Bluechel, the Business Services Outreach Manager at WorkSource says, "People are having to think about finding more than one job because there aren't enough full time jobs for everyone who is needing work." 

According to her, WorkSource serves about 600 people per day, from job training to job placement.  She says there's a troubling trend in the Tri-Cities, "traditionally we have a lot of seasonal positions because agriculture and hospitality are two of our major industries within the tri-cities area.  But normally if we have five percent of our jobs showing as a part time its pretty amazing."  

That number according to Bluechel, has jumped to 25%.  Of the jobs that need to be filled offered by WorkSource, a quarter are part time.

She believes it is more than employers just not wanting to provide benefits.  She says this trend is an accurate indicator of our actual state of economic times.   It shows that local businesses are still worried about their situation and do not feel comfortable putting on full time people.

However, Bluechel does say part-time positions could lead to full-time job offers.  She says it's often the foot in the door people need to move along the career ladder.  She also mentions that after training an individual it often becomes too costly for many companies to have a lot of turnover.