New numbers released by Washington state show our region fairly stable when it comes to jobs, but not among the lowest in state.

According to the Washington State Employement Security Department and federal reports, here's the latest unemployment rates for March, 2015:

  • Benton County 7.0%
  • Franklin County 8.6%
  • Walla Walla County 6.2%
  • Yakima County 9.0%
  • Adams and Grant Counties 8.0%
  • Spokane County 6.8%

The two lowest are (surprisingly) King County at 4.1% and (not surprisingly) Whitman County at 4.7%. The highest?  Stevens County, Northeast of Spokane, at 10.0%.

More telling statewide, through are where jobs were gained and lost.  Wholesale trade, warehousing and utilities lost some 400 jobs last month, manufacturing lost 900.  The biggest drop came in the leisure-hospitality area with 1,900 jobs lost.

Wholesale trade, warehousing, utilities and manufacturing are key indicators of what's happening with long-term industrial skilled jobs that provide economic stability for families.  The leisure-hospitality area is hotel-motel, restaurant and other related leisure activity service workers. Below is a chart showing economic job performance from the Employment Security Department.

washington unemployment rate chart (Washington state employment security department)