Tri-Cites employment makes seasonal Jan. dip


PPnon-farm payroll

Monthly year-to-year percent change in the number of non-farm payroll jobs from non-adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics employer survey. The number of the most recent month’s job count is preliminary and often revised.

The number of jobs took a traditional January-December seasonal dip in the Tri-Cities.

According to the non-adjusted preliminary BLS payroll survey, there were about 4,400 fewer non-farm payroll jobs in January than there were in December. Kingsport-Bristol and the Johnson City MSA shared almost equally in the job losses.

On the brighter side, both MSAs posted gains on the year-to-year jobs comparisons. It’s too early to say the first month of 2014 was the beginning of a trend reversing the almost two-year softening jobs market. But as the payroll jobs  year-to-year chart shows job creation is beginning to turn upward.

The BLS’s employment count from the household survey shows the number of people employed in the Tri-Cities was down on both the December-January  and the January-to-January comparisons.

A longer view shows there are 11,674 fewer people with jobs in January than there were in January 2008 – a 5% decline. The labor force has shrunk by 8,544 people during the same time frame.

There are several reasons for a declining labor force.  An increasing number of people are retiring and dropping out of the labor force. Some of that is a demographic trend that will increase as more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age. Others are those caught in layoffs and elect to begin collecting Social Security early because they have no luck finding a job that isn’t exactly friendly to older workers. There’s also a bit of a out-migration of some younger people who moved home to weather the recession and are now moving on as the labor picture brightens in other markets. And there are those who just get discouraged and give up looking for work.

Emplo gain lossPPP

Number of people reported employed by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey. The most current month is a preliminary number and is often revised in the next month’s report. The months in red highlight Q4 employment, which saw the biggest losses 2009.

Kingsport sees sharp employment increase in Jan., but not Bristol or Johnson City

Tri-Cities annual jobless rates, labor force participation by age group 2008 v. 2012

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