Yakima, WA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Resurgent Hiring Caps Strong Year

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Yakima’s job market ended 2023 on a high note, adding jobs for the fifth consecutive month and exceeding pre-pandemic employment levels. The December report painted a picture of a resilient and resurgent economy, offering promising prospects for job seekers in the new year.


  • Non-farm payroll employment increased by 2,100 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.8%, the lowest since December 2019.
  • Professional and business services led the charge, adding 800 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality with 500 new positions.
  • Healthcare and construction also contributed to the growth, adding 300 and 200 jobs respectively.
  • Notably, manufacturing shed 100 jobs, marking the only sector to decline in December.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Professional and business services: Growth was driven by hiring in legal, accounting, and management consulting fields.
  • Leisure and hospitality: Restaurants, hotels, and tourism-related businesses added jobs as holiday demand picked up.
  • Healthcare: Increased hiring in hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare aided the sector’s expansion.
  • Construction: Continued investment in infrastructure projects and residential construction fueled job gains.

What Industries and Occupations Shrunk:

  • Manufacturing: The decline was primarily concentrated in food processing and beverage production.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Yakima’s job market outperformed the national average in December 2023, adding jobs at a faster pace than the U.S. as a whole.
  • Compared to December 2022, Yakima’s non-farm payroll employment grew by 3.4%, while the national figure was 2.8%.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • December’s job gains followed a modest increase of 500 jobs in November, indicating a sustained pace of hiring momentum.

Future Outlook:

  • Economic forecasts for Yakima in 2024 are cautiously optimistic. Continued investments in agriculture, healthcare, and renewable energy are expected to drive job growth.
  • However, factors like rising interest rates and potential global economic slowdowns could pose challenges.

10 Growing Occupations in Yakima:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Programmers
  3. Truck Drivers
  4. Construction Laborers
  5. Retail Salespersons
  6. General and Operations Managers
  7. Physician Assistants
  8. Customer Service Representatives
  9. Home Health Aides
  10. Accountants and Auditors

10 Companies Hiring Now in Yakima:

  1. Virginia Mason Memorial
  2. ConAgra Foods
  3. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
  4. Amazon
  5. Rosado’s Cafe
  6. Central Washington Home Builders Association
  7. Yakima County
  8. Walmart
  9. Starbucks
  10. Sysco