Yakima workers earn 14% lower than the national average - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima workers earn 14% lower than the national average

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YAKIMA, Wash- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says across all industries Yakima workers earned an average of $18.38 cents an hour compared to $21.35, the national average in May 2010.

We wanted to understand why Yakima workers make about $4.50 less than their Tri Cities counter-parts who make 7% above the national average.

The report included a list of over three hundred jobs including firefighters, farm workers, hairdressers.  In almost every case, tri cities workers made more. Hanford's trickle down effect is the likely reason.

"Most of the occupations in Benton-Franklin County get affected by Hanford, that earns the most.  All other industries tend to have a little bit higher wages than other locations", says Ajsa Souljic, regional Labor Economist.

Agriculture is the biggest employer in the Yakima area, but it does not drive up wages.  According to the report... Agricultural jobs from fruit pickers to orchard supervisors pay anywhere from just over 10 dollars an hour to just under 20.

The economist says that's not enough to have a trickle-down effect.