[11/9/21] Labor Force Down From 2019

Posted in Business & Economy

Unemployment numbers in Chelan and Douglas Counties hit an all-time low in September. According to the Economic Report for the Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is made up of the two counties, non-farm employment is up for the sixth month in a row, and the labor force has been growing four months in a row. The labor picture is looking much better than it was a year ago, which was then affected by the pandemic. But the real numbers to compare the current numbers to are the 2019 numbers before the pandemic hit. And we haven’t reached those numbers yet, according to Regional Labor Economist Don Meseck, who says many factors affect the labor force:

Meseck says the labor force, which is about 2-point-three percent less than it was two years ago, is being hit by several things:

Meseck points to the leisure and hospitality industry as an example; while employment in hotels, bars and restaurants, and amusement places has added 11-hundred jobs between September of 2020 and September of 2021, it’s still down 500 jobs from September 2019.