Yakima Unemployment is Rising - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Unemployment is Rising

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Unemployment is up in Yakima County. Compared to last year, Yakima has almost 3,000 more people without a job and Work Source employees say there's a clear trend here.

"We're seeing a lot of people coming through from some plant closure that have to do with manufacturing," said Lori Edwards-Olsen from Work Source.

Over the past few months places like Western RV, All Wood Components, Linens n Things and Walker Bay Boats have all been forced to close, leaving hundreds of people in Yakima without work.

"People are very depressed, its very hard, they don't know how they're going to support their families," said Stephanie Walsh, an employment counselor at Work Source.

And Work Source employees say the unemployed are coming from a wide range of positions.

"We're finding a lot of people coming are higher management," said Walsh.

"Title companies, real estate agents, some banks are letting people go," said Olsen.

Work Source's Dislocated Employment Program is trying to help place as many Yakima workers as possible. Last month 57 people were let go from jobs, and so far this month, there have been 13.

"While that doesn't seem too big, that really has the effect of saturating the job market pretty quickly in Yakima," said Olsen.

Which means there are a lot of qualified and trained employees who may have to start looking into other professions.

"We're helping employees and employers looking for people with certain skills," said Olsen.

And in such a saturated market, switching professions may be the only immediate solution.

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