Yakima Co. jobs report shows improvement in 2010 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Co. jobs report shows improvement in 2010, predicts more growth in 2011

Posted: Updated:

ELLENSBURG, Wash. - The Yakima County labor market continued to shrink in 2010, according to the latest report from Central Washington University economist Don Mesek, but it is showing improvement that should continue through 2011.

The employment outlook went "back a step" last year but there is progress in the county, Mesek says in his "2010-in-Review" report released Monday.  He cites the increase in the rate of unemployment slowing down last year compared to 2009. Additionally, some sectors are showing increases in hiring.

Mesek predicts durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and health services are most likely to add jobs in 2011 after showing growth between Decembers 2009 and 2010.  In that same time range, the number of people claiming unemployment insurance went down.

A closer look at the jobless rate shows an increase of 1.9 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year. In 2010, unemployment continued to rise by .6 percent versus 2009.

The rate averaged out at 9.1 percent in the county for all of 2010 and Mesek expects the rate to fall between 8.0 and 8.5 percent this year.