Hiring signs

Despite Grant County keeping below the statewide average unemployment and the number of jobs remaining competitive, employers are struggling with hiring.

In Quincy, people can see a lot of hiring signs by just driving a few miles down State Route 28 from one end of town to the other. McDonald’s, Quincy School District, Skagit Transportation and Lineage Logistics are just a few to name.

It isn’t surprising with 10.1 million job openings across the U.S., up more than 6% from May, according to United States Department of Labor data. It is the highest number of job openings ever recorded in the federal system.

Although there are plenty of job openings, Grant County’s employment recovery is a work in progress, according to a labor summary report from Don Meseck, a regional labor economist.

“In June of last year, COVID-19-related layoffs drove Grant County’s unemployment upwards to 8.7%, but in June 2021 the rate dwindled to 5.5%, a three and two-tenths percentage points decline – good economic news,” Meseck said.

Despite falling unemployment overall, nonfarm employment fell by almost 5 percentage points in June, a loss of almost 1,000 jobs from 2020 and over 2,000 jobs from 2019, according to Meseck’s data.

“Hence, the current recovery in Grant County is a ‘work in progress,’” Meseck said.

But Grant County also remains competitive in the number of jobs available compared to the rest of the state, where some positions are disappearing, according to the data. In comparison, the report stated that Grant County lost 470 jobs in 2020 (down 1.5%) while Washington lost 184,400 nonfarm jobs (down 5.3%) in 2020.

The same article by the New York Post also said that last week 9.5 million Americans were looking for work in June, meaning there were more job openings across the country than people looking for work.

Join the online forum

Discuss this article with your neighbors or join the community conversation. Powered by our sister paper, The Wenatchee World.