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Targeted Employment Areas

In a targeted employment area, unemployment is at least 50 percent higher than the national rate. A targeted employment area also may be a rural area meeting certain requirements. The designation promotes foreign investments by changing the requirements for immigrant-investor visas.

The targeted-employment-area designation encourages foreign investments and economic growth by reducing the requirements for obtaining an EB-5 immigrant-investor visa. The minimum qualifying investment for investors with an EB-5 visa is $500,000. In general, the minimum qualifying investment is $1 million.

The investor must demonstrate that his or her investment will benefit the economy and create a required number of full-time jobs for qualified people in the United States.

What is the data source?
We draw from our local area unemployment statistics to get an annual average of the unemployment rate.

How often is the list updated?

Where can I learn more about targeted employment areas?
See the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office for more information about becoming an EB-5 immigrant investor.

2013 Targeted Employment Areas1
Annual Average
Unemployment Rate 2013
Qualifying Area:
National Unemployment Rate
150% of National Rate2

Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA MSA 8.6% No
    Benton County 8.3% No
    Franklin County 9.3% No
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA MD 5.4% No
    King County 5.2% No
    Snohomish  County 5.8% No
Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA MSA 7.2% No
    Chelan County 7.3% No
    Douglas County 7.0% No
Adams 8.5% No
Asotin County (Lewiston, ID-WA MSA) * 7.2% No
Clallam County (Port Angeles, WA MicroSA) 9.2% No
Clark County (Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA) * 9.6% No
Columbia County 10.1% No
Cowlitz (Longview MSA) 10.1% No
Ferry County 11.7% Yes
Garfield County 7.7% No
Grant County (Moses Lake, WA MicroSA) 8.8% No
Grays Harbor County (Aberdeen, WA MicroSA) 11.8% Yes
Island County (Oak Harbor, WA MicroSA) 7.7% No
Jefferson County 9.0% No
Kitsap County (Bremerton - Silverdale, WA MSA) 6.8% No
Kittitas County (Ellensburg, WA MicroSA) 7.4% No
Klickitat County 9.3% No
Lewis County (Centralia, WA MicroSA) 11.2% Yes
Lincoln County 7.6% No
Mason County (Shelton, WA MicroSA) 9.7% No
Okanogan County 8.7% No
Pacific County 10.6% No
Pend Oreille County 11.5% Yes
Pierce County (Tacoma, WA MD) 8.1% No
San Juan County 5.9% No
Skagit County (Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA MSA) 8.3% No
Skamania County (Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA) * 10.7% No
Spokane County (Spokane, WA MSA) 7.9% No
Stevens County 10.9% No
Thurston County (Olympia, WA MSA) 7.0% No
Wahkiakum County 11.0% No
Walla Walla County (Walla Walla, WA MicroSA) 7.0% No
Whatcom County (Bellingham, WA MSA) 6.9% No
Whitman County (Pullman, WA MicroSA) 6.2% No
Yakima County (Yakima, WA MSA) 9.2% No

1Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics

2Unemployment rate required for designation of a "High Unemployment Area."

For more information call the Labor Market Information Center at 800-215-1617, or contact an economist.