Yakima, WA – The last year was difficult for many people experiencing unemployment and many people still haven’t returned to work for various reasons. What we do now is there is hope because things are improving, they’re just improving slowly. 

In march 2020, 10,045 people in Yakima County found themselves unemployed. In march 2021, that number dropped slightly to 9,879. That’s a decrease of 166 people.

The number of people who lost their job also decreased from our low point in May 2020 at 10% to 2.8% in March 2021. The number of nonfarm jobs available right now is sitting at 2,400.

In other good news, jobs in areas like private health services and retail are in demand. The hardest hit industry during the pandemic, hospitality and leisure, is also slowly recovering. Between April 2019 to April 2020 33.7% of the jobs in that sector were lost, now that number sits at 22.9%

According to the CEO of South Central Workforce Development Council Amy Martinez, now the problem is jobs are looking to hire but people are choosing to stay home.

“There are many businesses that have job openings that they cannot fill these jobs range from entry level all the way up to middle and higher wage jobs that they are just not filling,” Martinez said. “They will have applications and call interviews and people will not show up.”

The South Central Workforce Development Council also works with People for People to help provide you with services to help you enter the workforce. However, People for People said they’ve seen a 30% decrease in the use of their programs.

The Employment and Training Program Director Cindy Maib-Robinson said this is the time to prepare to go back to work.

“Economies are going to open up, jobs are opening up and there are employers that are having some difficult times filling those positions and now is the time to get involved in training, recertifying so they are prepared,” Maib-Robinson said.

To find resources to help you in your job search you can head to People for People’s website or the Council’s website.