Tri-Cities June unemployment rates up in June; slow quarterly improvements made


1-year employment change by quarters comparison. Data is not seasonally adjusted. June’s data is preliminary and usually sees a small adjustment when the following months household survey is released.


Tri-Cities nonfarm jobs and employment took a seasonal dip in June and unemployment rates increased across the seven-county region.

Both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted nonfarm job totals were down from May. However, the payroll report shows both of the region’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas had small job gains over the June 2013 totals.

Non adjusted preliminary June household survey data put Kingsport-Bristol’s Q2 employment   0.04% lower than Q2 last year. The Johnson City MSA closed the second quarter 1.05% below last year.

June’s numbers will likely show adjustments when the July reports are made. Those adjustments are usually small and should not change the quarterly comparison dramatically.

Looking at employment from a “the glass is half-full” perspective shows two quarters of improvement since Q4 last year. Unless there’s shift from the seasonal patterns, both employment and nonfarm job creation will likely be soft for another month then begin picking up in August.

Here’s how the unemployment rates, employment and labor force numbers looked when compared to May household survey numbers in the Tri-Cities MSAs and cities with 25,000 or more population.

Kingsport-Bristol MSA

Unemployment rate –  7.1%, up 0.8%.

Employment,  down 1.03%

Labor force, down 1.9%.


Unemployment rate  – 7.4% up 0.8%.

Labor force,  up 0.28%

Employment, down 0.52%

Kingsport remains the only city where employment is higher than it was in the same month in 2008 – the year before the Great Recession job cuts began. Kingsport’s June employment total was 1,585 better than  June 2008.

Bristol Unemployment rate 7.4%, up 1%

Labor force, down 0.66%.

Employment down 0.53%.

Bristol had 383 fewer people employment in June than in June 2008.

Johnson City MSA Unemployment rate 7.2%, up 1%.

Labor force, down 0.55%.

Employment , down 1.67%

Johnson City Unemployment rate – 7.3%, up 0.9%.

Labor force, down 0.67% Employment down 1.65%.

Johnson City had 1,608 fewer residents employed in June than it did in June 2008.



TRI-Cities labor market hands onto slight trend improvements despite seasonal jobs pinch 

June jobs heat charts how small YoY gains 

Johnson City MSA, Kingsport-Bristol June avg. wage makes small gains, buying power down 

©Don Fenley

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