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Unemployment in Chelan and Douglas Counties took a big jump in December, according to the Employment Security Department. The jobless rate in December was 6-point-4 percent, up from 4-point-nine percent in November, but up from 4-point-4 percent in December 2021. Regional Labor Economist Don Meseck says there are two things going on:

Meseck says two industries seem to account for the jump in the unemployment rate:

But, as it has been for the last six or seven months, the December report was a mix of good and bad news, the good news being a lot more jobs in the two county area:

The bad news, Meseck says, is the ongoing decline in the civilian labor force, which he attributes to retirement, and the reason you see so many “help wanted” signs around.

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