WENATCHEE — The total number of jobs in the Wenatchee area increased 19.3% over the last five years, faster than any other metro area in the state, according to a report this week from 24/7 Wall Street, a financial news website.
The report analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the fastest-growing job markets in the nation. It ranked Wenatchee No. 12 on its top-20 list.
Wenatchee added 10,190 jobs over the past five years, according to the BLM data. As of May, there were 62,857 people employed in the area, which was the most recent data available.
In that same five-year period, Wenatchee’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.2% to 4.9%.
The leisure and hospitality industry saw the largest jump, according to the report, adding more than 1,800 jobs.
That industry has grown 4.4 percent in the last year alone, according to data from the state Employment Security Department. As of May 2019, it had 7,100 people employed.
And Wenatchee may continue to see growth in that industry — there are four new hotels planned for the Wenatchee Valley, in addition to the two that were just built this year.
Wenatchee’s total labor force has also increased. Over the last decade, it grew 10%, or 6,312 people, according to the data. The area’s median household income is now $58,990.
Wenatchee was the highest ranking Washington metro area on the 24/7 Wall Street list. Olympia-Tumwater was No. 13, Kennewick-Richland was No. 15 and Bellingham was No. 20.
The report ranked St. George, Utah, as the No. 1 fastest-growing job market in the nation. It added 15,163 jobs in the five-year period, an increase of 25.7 percent, according to the report.