Tri-Cities gains jobs in April

Tri-City Herald Staff WriterMay 20, 2014 

The Tri-Cities experienced its 13th month of consecutive job growth in April.

Seasonal increases in construction, retail and farm work helped push the Tri-City unemployment rate down to 6.9 percent, according to data released Tuesday by the state Employment Security Department.

The Tri-Cities gained about 1,500 nonfarm jobs during April compared to the same month last year, reaching a total of 102,600 nonfarm jobs.

“We are recovering after (the Hanford) layoffs and the slowdown in our economy,” said Ajsa Suljic, regional labor economist for Benton and Franklin counties.

Despite job gains, the Tri-Cities remained above the average state unemployment rate of 5.6 percent in April. Benton County’s rate was 6.6 percent, while Franklin County’s was 7.8 percent.

The number of Tri-Citians out of work who were actively searching for a new job dropped by 20 percent compared to April of last year to about 8,800 job seekers.

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