Live in the Yakima Valley - Economy - Live in Yakima, WA


 A Regional Center for Commerce and Industry 

alt textThe Yakima Valley enjoys a relatively diverse and stable economy.   The region has the largest and most varied farm base in Washington State.  A long growing season, excellent soils, and extensive irrigation systems allows farmers to grow 39 different commodities.  The area is also Washington State's leader in beef and dairy production.  Yakima County produces over $1.2 billion of agricultural products annually which makes it the 12th largest farming area in the nation.

CommodityRank in United StatesRank in WA State
Apples 1 1
Hops 1 1
Mint 1 1
Milk/Dairy 1 11
Grapes 2 13
Corn for Silage 1 28



The region's agricultural base is complimented by significant economic activity taking place in warehousing,manufacturing, health care and services.  Most warehousing activity is tied to storage and shipment of agricultural commodities.  Yakima's farm products are shipped around the world so the region has a multitude of storage, packing and shipping facilities.  These warehouse activities are complimented by regional distribution companies that operate within the area because of its central location within the Pacific Northwest economy.  Ace Hardware and Walmart operate significant distribution centers in the Yakima Valley.  These facilities are complimented by locally owns logistics companies like Horizon Distribution and RE Powell.

Tree Top Juice Products

Yakima County's manufacturing activity is concentrated in food processing.  Local companies manufacture fruit juice, industrial food ingredients, cheese, potato chips, and canned vegetables.   These value added food processors are complimented by a significant concentration of metal fabricators, aerospace companies, plastics firms, and machinery manufacturers.  Food processing represents about 40 percent of the manufacturing sector.  Its more than 250 firms employ nearly 10,000 workers, and, in 2006, the gross sales for Yakima’s food processors exceeded $1.4 billion.

Memorial HosptialProfessional business, education and health care services combine for 18 percent of the Valley’s economy.  Health care is a significant driver of local employment - the sector has added jobs almost continuously over the last decade.  As the center of a seven county region for health care, Yakima County has five local hospitals, numerous specialty clinics, and a growing array of medical services.  As the commercial center of Central Washington, Yakima also enjoys a concentration of accounting, legal, financial, and insurance firms.

 Top 20 Employers

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital


Yakima School District 1,731
Wal-Mart (distribution & retail) 1,500
Yakima County 1,224
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinics 1,184
Division of Social & Health Services (DSHS) 961
Yakima Regional Cardiac & Medical Center 942
AB Foods 850
City of Yakima 753
Sunnyside School District 670
Yakama Nation Legends Casino 634
Yakima Training Center 550
Tree Top 540
West Valley School District 490
Shields Bag & Printing 476
Yakima Valley Community College 467
WA State Department of Transportation 361
Selah School District 345
Grandview School District 341
Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health 340

"We have more and more culture coming all the time; we have the Capitol Theatre and The Seasons for music and entertainment, great restaurants, it's just a beautiful place to live and raise your family." - Lisa Shields-Long, Shields Bag & Printing