Eye On Olympia

TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2009, 3:26 P.M.

Where the jobs are: go to Yakima, the Tri-Cities…

So says a quarterly survey by the staffing company Manpower, reported recently in Forbes. From the article:

Cities in the Pacific Northwest and Texas have the best employment outlook for April through June, while cities in the the Southeast have the weakest, according to the study.

Yakima's 21 percent projected increase in employment -- apparently due to a strong apple crop and processing -- gave it "the strongest employment outlook in the country" for Q2 of 2009.

Kennewick was No. 2, with 19 percent growth expected. No. 3 was Anchorage, Alaska.

And the worst job prospects? Hello, Florida, hit hard by the construction bubble and then hit again by the tourism slump.

State Rep. John Driscoll -- whose predecessor, John Ahern, frequently talked about "a great sucking sound" as employers took their jobs to nearby Idaho -- said he was pleased by the news.

"Well, he indeed heard a sucking noise, but he had the direction wrong," said Driscoll, D-Spokane. "The good jobs are coming here."




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