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Tri-Cities ranked Washington's fastest-growing job market in 2016

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- New statistics show Tri-Cities is taking the number one spot on the charts for job growth throughout the entire state.

Action News found out what new opportunities are coming our way.

Regional economists are calling 2016 monumental as they take a look at the rate of growth we've seen in the job market.

A:"we are number one in percentage of growth in number of jobs compared to other areas."

Suljic says we are Washington's fastest growing job market for 2016, thanks to 3,800 new jobs, all right here in the region.

It’s a title that takes the work of many different trades to accomplish, but economist point out some big players.

“Even to my surprise the largest growth area was manufacturing at 1,100 jobs over the year and almost 15 percent job growth,” said Suljic, adding “That is very amazing.”

Lamb Weston employs 1500 workers in Tri-Cities. The company is looking to raise that number this year with a whole new line of French fries in its Richland plant.

“I’ve been in this community my whole life and I know we take a lot of pride to bring that number of new jobs into the Richland jobs and the Tri-Cities area,” said Lamb Weston’s Richland Plant Manager Mark Schuster.

Construction work is another leading industry building up our economy, in both commercial and real estate.

“There's lots of opportunity and money to be made,” said the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities’ Executive Director Jeff Losey, adding “As much we've increased by 25 percent in the new homes in 2016, there could be more if we had more labor available.”

Economists are hopeful these local labor demands could keep our Tri-City economy on top for another year.

“We can't necessarily see the future, but we are anticipating a very good 2017 with what we have so far,” said Suljic.

Regional economists say we've also seen big growth in healthcare, hospitality and teaching opportunities.

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