Local government, professional services, leisure and hospitality are a few areas in which the Tri-Cities saw job growth in June.
Employment figures released Tuesday showed the Tri-City area had gained 100 nonfarm jobs compared with May.
Although the overall number of employed workers increased by 4,470 since May, the Tri-Cities still had fewer jobs when compared with June 2010, according to the state Employment Security Department.
A total of 127,950 Tri-Citians were employed out of 138,110 in the work force.
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The work force gained 4,960 new people in June compared with the previous month. So although more people had jobs, the number of unemployed rose by 490 to 10,160.
The Tri-Cities' unemployment rate increased slightly in June from 7.3 percent to 7.4 percent. Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate went from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent.
The Tri-Cities goes through booms and busts every five to 10 years because of budget changes and projects at Hanford, said Ajsa Suljic, regional labor economist for the state Employment Security Department, in a report.
Significant layoffs are expected at some Hanford contractors and subcontractors later this year.
Benton County's unemployment rate inched up from 7 percent in May to 7.2 percent in June, while Franklin County's rate dipped from 8 percent to 7.8 percent.
The WorkSource Columbia Basin office in Kennewick has 500 to 600 people come in each weekday for help in finding jobs, said Candice Bluechel, business services manager.
But the number of job openings seems healthy, she said. Both counties have seen more postings with the Kennewick office, with about 650 postings, which could include more than one position. The fields range from medical to food processing to engineering, and several employers recently held hiring events at the WorkSource office, Bluechel said.
J. Lieb Foods, a Forest Grove, Ore., company with a 45-employee bottling plant in Kennewick, will stage a hiring fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Bluechel said.
Jim Lieb, the founder, said his company will be bottling cold-press apple cider, a new product. He said Lieb Foods may add up to 25 jobs in Kennewick when modifications allow the plant to press the apples and bottle the cider. Production is expected to begin Aug. 15.
Local government grew by 200 jobs. That category includes tribes, school districts, fire districts and municipalities.
The Pasco School District added 51 teachers to accommodate growth and all-day kindergarten, said public affairs director Leslee Caul.
The Kennewick School District added 11 full-time teachers in June, said communications director Lorraine Cooper. Most of KSD's elementary schools had some class sizes grow to 30 children, which is too high, she said. Adding the teachers should help get some of those classes down to 25 or 26 students.
Professional and business service were up by 300 jobs, and leisure and hospitality grew by 200 positions in June.
Sports tournaments help the hotel and hospitality business during June and July, said Chris Garratt, area director of sales and marketing for the Tri-Cities Red Lion hotels.
And in July, the District Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses bring in more visitors, he said. Almost 22,000 Jehovah's Witnesses arrive during the four weekends in July, according to the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau.
The Tri-Cities is a strong economy for hotels because of the sports and conventions in the summer and agriculture conventions during the winter, Garratt said. And while government travel provides year-round business, some tourists arrive to golf during February and March.
"I feel very fortunate to be in this economic environment," Garratt said.
Agriculture jobs were up by 50 percent in June from May, with 16,549 people employed in the industry. That was about 249 fewer farm jobs compared with June 2010.
The cool spring and summer delayed cherry harvests in the Columbia Basin by several weeks. Harvest normally starts at the beginning of June. This year, cherry shipments didn't start on a large scale until June 21, said James Michael, promotion director for Northwest Cherry Growers.
The group, which represents growers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana, has shipped about 11 million 20-pound boxes of cherries, Michael said. They expect to reach about 16.5 million boxes, an increase from 2010. More cherries could mean more jobs in a variety of positions, he said.
Areas that saw a total job loss of 400 in the Tri-Cities included trade, transportation, warehousing and utilities. State government, private services and retail trade each decreased by 100 jobs.
Infinia Corp. laid off almost 40 employees in June because of its decision to move its corporate headquarters from Kennewick to Ogden, Utah. The company developed the free-piston Stirling engine for use in solar-energy generating and other clean energy or energy-conservation devices.