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It seems that almost every employment report we've spoken about here over the last year or so has been a mixture of good news and bad news, with the bad news being the shrinking numbers in the civilian labor force. September's employment report was more of the same, with the labor force losing more than 18-hundred workers between September of last year and September of this year. We asked Don Meseck, the Regional Labor Economist and number cruncher, where the workers have gone:

As of September, the civilian labor force stands at 66,610 workers, that's down from 68,468 in September 2022, a decline of 2-point-7 percent. Non-farm employment dropped three hundred jobs year-to-year, now at 48,400. Meseck has been comparing growth rates from Chelan and Douglas counties with the state's growth rate, and he's concerned:

One item in the employment report bears noting: looking back over the last ten years, total employment rose in Chelan County from more than 39 thousand in 2012 to more than 43-thousand last year. However, agricultural employment declined from more than 96-hundred in 2012 to almost 77-hundred last year, a decline of more than 20 percent.

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