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.
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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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