WENATCHEE — Retail jobs saw a bump in July, but that’s the only private sector employment category in Chelan and Douglas counties to grow this year over last year, according to stats released this week by the state Employment Security Department.

Retail trade added 500 jobs in July this year compared to July 2019. That’s the same job increase added in the category since June.

It’s a marginally bright spot in the report provided by regional state economist Don Meseck, who also notes the pandemic-induced job loss pace has slowed.

Total nonfarm employment in the two counties tumbled by 14.9% in April, 12.3% in May, 9.4% in June, and by 7.5% in July this year, compared to the same months in 2019.

July’s unemployment rate for the two-county region was 10%, up from June’s 9.8% and last year’s 3.8%.

Aside from retail, all other job category numbers remain down compared to last year, though some areas did see an increase in jobs from June to July.

  • Manufacturing added 100 jobs from June to July, but is still down 100 from July 2019’s total of 2,700 jobs.
  • Trade, transportation, warehousing and utilities added 500 jobs from June to July. The 10,200 job total is down 200 jobs from July 2019.
  • Leisure and hospitality added 500 jobs from June to July, but is still down 2,600 jobs from July 2019, a 34.7% drop. That’s the hardest hit category overall, with 4,900 jobs reported in July 2020 compared to 7,500 jobs in July 2019.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151