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


alt textA Regional Center for Commerce and Industry 

The 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 WA StateRank in United States
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 alt textshipment 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.

Yakima County's manufacturing activity is concentrated in food processing.  Local companies manufacture fruit juice, industrial food ingredients, cheese, tortilla shells, 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 and gross sales in 2013 exceeded $1.1 billion.  Yakima's more than 250 manufacturing firms employ nearly 10,000 workers.

Professional 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


Wal-Mart (distribution & retail) 1,700
Yakima School District, No. 7 1,594
Zirkle Fruit 1,500+
Washington Fruit & Produce 1,500+
Borton Fruit 1,212
Yakima County 1,074
Monson Fruit 1,023
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic 1,006
Yakima Regional Medical Center 985
Washington Department of Social Health Services 920
A.B. Foods 900
City of Yakima 722
Sunnyside School District 652
Yakama Nation Legends Casino 644
Tree Top, Inc 615
Shields Bag & Printing 500
Yakima Training Center 491
Yakima Valley Community College 450
Toppenish School District 408

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"My husband and I were actually looking for a vacation property in the Yakima area. We fell in love with the community, quit our jobs and moved here from Seattle." - Theresa Pritchard, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital