New Jobs Available, But Don't Pay Well - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Jobs Available, But Don't Pay Well

Posted: Updated:

Kennewick -- The unemployment rate in Washington is hovering near a thirty year low.  But not all employment news this week is positive.

A new report indicates most new jobs created in the Washington don't pay very well. The Seattle Times reported Sunday that 70 percent of all new jobs created in the past four years pay just a 'living wage.'

Diana Cutsforth with Express Personnel Services in Kennewick said Monday that one current problem is the new, higher minimum wage. She said that the change has forced companies that might pay more for experienced workers to use the money instead to pay entry-level employees.

"No-one wants to pay more until they need to.  Everyone is trying to make their budgets work and to keep their products and services where they're still competitive.  So, I think that's the push right now."

The employment dynamic in the Tri-Cities has shifted in the past six months, to an employee driven market.  And the lack of a labor pool is putting a squeeze on companies.  Cutsforth said wages will be going up locally, but employers will first have to shift their thinking.