The March Employment Report for Chelan and Douglas Counties is out, and it shows good news. The unemployment rate dropped from February's 7-point-2 percent to 5-point-4 percent in March, which puts it even with the jobless rate in March 2022. But perhaps an even more positive number is the civilian labor force, which rose more than 13-hundred to 66,360 in March. That's good news, but what makes Regional Labor Economist Don Meseck happy is when he compares that number to prior years:
More encouraging news comes from industry employment, which saw a rise of 19-hundred over the past year:
But there's one industry that Meseck is worried about, and that's construction, whose numbers haven't changed from last March:
Meseck attributes that to higher interest rates and lower home prices. As to whether the good news from March is a sign of things to come, he says we'll have to wait and see the April numbers next month.