Okanogan County Jobless Numbers Remain Stagnant


OLYMPIA, Wa.-Okanogan County’s labor market appears to be stuck in a rut. The latest numbers from the Washington State Employment Security Department bear that out. Central Washington’s Regional Economist, Don Meseck says the County’s nonfarm labor market did not fare well in 2017.


Okanogan County’s unemployment rate increased three-tenths of a percentage point between 2016 and 2017, from 6.6 to 6.9 percent. Between the Februaries of 2017 and 2018 the rate stagnated at 9.8 percent. Why? Meseck says the civilian labor force shrank 5.0 percent between February 2017 and 2018 while the number of unemployed contracted at a roughly comparable 4.6 pace causing the local unemployment rate to stabilize at 9.8 percent during this timeframe. He adds the local economy is off to a weak start in the first two months of 2018.


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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.