Unemployment at record lows

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The Tri-Cities is enjoying record unemployment rates, the number of people out of work hasn't been this few in five years.

Jeff Simpson has been in-and-out of jobs for nearly two decades and for the past two months his full time job has been looking for work.

"I have a family to support, I'm just desperate, I have to find me a good job that I'm happy with," said job seeker, Jeff Simpson.

And Jeff may soon be in good company, the unemployment rate for this past April saw the Tri-Cities at 6.9%, the lowest percentage since 2008. Local experts say it is just the beginning.

"It sets that precedence for June, July, August activities, if April numbers are good," said Ajsa Suljic.

"It sounds great with the economy, I just want to be one of the ones who got a job, too, and get off state aid," said Simpson.

In the past year, 1500 jobs have been added to our area, local economist Asja Suljic says it's taken about 16 months to recover from the impact felt by Hanford layoffs.

"Showing growth, it really signals that we have other industries and diversification in our area to add these jobs back in," said Suljic.

And even though job seekers like Jeff are still looking, he doesn't think he will have to wait much longer.

"There are a lot of jobs and just by me pounding the streets, there are jobs out there, signs posted everywhere, more hiring, and stuff like that, it's nice to see that," said Simpson.

There's a ripple effect throughout the Tri-Cities when more people are working.

"There is a lot more money flowing throughout the community and they're able to spend that money and invest in the projects like real estate or retail trade, or hair salons, and things like that," said Suljic.

Local experts tell KEPR they expect unemployment rates to continue to decrease, or at worse stay the same.