Dec. jobless rate in Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City down; so was number of people with jobs

Unemployment rates in Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City declined in December.  So did the number of people who had jobs and the labor force.

During the past year Bristol is the only major city in the Tri-Cities that has not recorded a constant monthly year-over year labor force decline.  During July, August and September the city’s labor force increased when compared to the same month of the previous year.

The primary reasons people drop out of the labor force is retirement, forced retirement or they get discouraged and quit looking for a job so they’re not counted.  While the U3 report is the most widely used by media it omits some people and classifies many involuntary part-time workers as employed. The more inclusive U6 report includes those individuals. In November the national U6 unemployment rate was 13.1%, unchanged from November and the lowest rate for the year. The U6 report is available for states on a quarterly report. Tennessee’s rate in Q3 was 14.5%. U6 is not calculated for MSA levels or lower.

 Kingsport – 6.7%

Kingsport‘s unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to 6.7% in December.  The number of people reported employed by the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development was 18,830. That’s down 229 from November’s total and 627 fewer than December last year. December’s labor force was 20,180, 270 fewer than November and 770 fewer than December last year.

Johnson City – 6%

Johnson City jobless rate dropped 0.5% to 6%. December’s report shows 29,250 people with jobs, down 252 from November and 1,125 fewer than December 2012. The city’s labor force was 31,130, down 410 from November and 1,275 fewer than December 2012.

Bristol 6.8%

Bristol TN’s jobless rate last month was 6.8%, down 0.1% from November. The number of people with jobs was 11,830, down 141 from November and 291 fewer than December 2012. Bristol’s labor force last month totaled 12,680, down 187 from November and 25 more than December 2012.

Tennessee – 7.6%

Tennessee’s December unemployment rate was 7.6%, down 0.2%.

U.S. – 7.9%

The United States had a 7.9% jobless rate in December, down 1.2% from November.

The unemployment report is compiled from a household survey and measures the number of people working and looking for work – not where the job is located or in which labor market sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site is having some problems with a Java upgrade which is making getting December job sector performs a little tougher.  The report show how many jobs were lost and gained should be finished by Monday morning.

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