We have some positive new information to share about employment growth in Yakima County during the past year.

Job Numbers are up....specifics in a moment.

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As Bad As The Great Depression

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But first, let's start with some background - It has been written that "the impact the pandemic had on employment can’t be overstated, as job losses in the spring of 2020 were comparable to those of the Great Depression." 

Ok, a little more background...just how bad was the Great Depression? 15-million lost jobs worth of bad on a much smaller total population.

The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, some 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed

Bounce Back Fast

The misery of the Great Depression lasted a decade but recovery from the pandemic was much quicker with over 60% of lost jobs bouncy back a year later, and total employment today is just a percentage point lower than the pre-COVID peak.

Yakima Employment Up Almost 5%

Looking at the March 2021 to March 2022 time period, employment in the Yakima metro area has grown 4.8% since last year -- up 0.2% increase since the start of the pandemic.

The Pandemic Punch

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from March 2021 to March 2022 there were reductions in unemployment rates in 386 of America's 389 metropolitan areas

On the state level, Nevada, California, and Hawaii added the most jobs last year, while many locations in the South and Midwest have experienced little to no employment growth over the past year, and remain well below March 2020 numbers.


Comparing Yakima To America

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics show that employment in the Yakima metro area has grown. Here is a summary of the data for the Yakima, WA metro area:

  • Percentage change in employment since 2021: +4.8%
  • Total change in employment since 2021: +4,000
  • Percentage change in employment since 2020: +0.2%
  • Total change in employment since 2020: +200
  • Current unemployment rate: 6.2%

For comparison here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Percentage change in employment since 2021: +4.5%
  • Total change in employment since 2021: +6,494,000
  • Current unemployment rate:

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