Local jobs economy marching to its own drummer; employers continue cutting jobs

 ETSU Economist Dr. Steb Hipple’s second quarter labor market analysis has affirmed what monthly jobs reports have been showing.

“ Labor market performance over the past several years clearly shows that the national economy and the regional economy march to the beat of different drummers,” Hipple wrote in his analysis of the regional and metro area labor markets.

Gain Loss KBPPP

Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 “ In 2010 and 2011, the region and the individual cities saw strong job creation while the U.S. economy sputtered along.  The situation is now reversed with significant employment gains at the national level, while local employment levels have been dropping over the past year.

“ In the region, employment has been falling for the past year, yet unemployment continued to decline as well.  The strong job growth in 2010 and 2011 attracted many job seekers which added to the regional unemployment totals.  Over the past year, these job seekers have been leaving the area, and it now appears that they are largely gone.  Thus the job losses in the second quarter were reflected in the rise in unemployment.”

The private sector is creating jobs but not enough to counter the loss of government jobs.


Hipple also wrote that the economic outlook remains uncertain.

“At best the national economy will continue its sluggish growth and millions of workers will remain unemployed.  The ongoing policy confusion in Washington is not helping consumer or business confidence.  The sequester continues to reduce government employment – primarily at the state and local levels.  And we are approaching the “budget cliff” again which threatens to shut down the federal government altogether.”

The outcome of the “budget cliff” issue is up in the air. But that’s not the case with the sequester. It’s going to be around for a while unless something unforeseen pushes Congress out of its partisan trenches.

Gain-Lss JCPPP

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Research

Many analysts think the sequester will likely be with us until a new president in 2017.

One thing to keep in mind is the robocuts will be deeper next year since it will be a 12-month bite instead of seven months.

Domestic programs will lose an average of 7.2%. Defense gets a 9.8%

The local labor market reports for July will be available next week.

Related stories: 

Kingsport-Bristol, Johnson City private sector workers take a thumping in June 

More people looking for fewer jobs in June; Kingsport jobless rate at 26-month high 

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