Yakima County’s jobless rate in May fell slightly from a month earlier, but it still set a record for the month.
May unemployment finished at 14%, well above the 6.8% from May 2019, according to Employment Security figures released Tuesday.
The rate was a touch lower than the 14.3% rate in April, but still a notable contrast from the same month just two years ago when it reached a record low of 5.8%
Yakima County’s unemployment rate was the first double-digit unemployment rate for the county since 2013, when it was 10.3%.
It was also the highest for the month since Employment Security started keeping comparable records in 1990. The previous record rate came in May 1993 at 13.7%
In May, 18,882 residents seeking work were unemployed, more than double the 8,856 residents unemployed in May 2019.
Not surprisingly, Yakima County also reported a sharp year-over-year loss of nonagricultural jobs in May. Last month, Yakima County had 77,600 jobs, a drop of 11.5% or 10,100 jobs from May 2019.
The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes jobs in restaurants, hotels and other tourism businesses, reported the sharpest decline. In May, there were 4,700 leisure and hospitality jobs, a cut of nearly half the 8,500 jobs the sector had in May 2019.
All but one sector reported job losses. Federal government jobs were flat year-over-year.
Other sectors experiencing massive job losses include local government, with 2,000 fewer jobs; health services, with 1,700 fewer jobs; and business and professional services, with 700 fewer jobs.