July jobs: Major providers, recovery winners and losers; 12-month heat charts


NOTE-clicking on the graphics renders a larger version.


Photo compliments of ETSU

A comparison of the jobs reset in the wake of the Great Recession shows the top five job producers in the tri-Cities are:

-Education/Health Services



-Retail trade


A second set of charts that show gains and losses for each sector since their July 2008 pre-recession benchmark show manufacturing took some of the biggest job hits in both the Johnson City and Kingsport-Bristol MSAs during the recession.  The big question is how many will come back. If this restructuring is like past post-recession levels recovery of a one of every five jobs lost would be a good gain.

The region’s largest jobs provider – education/health services –  saw increases, but you have to add the two MSAs get above the 1,000 new jobs mark.

Kingsport-Bristol’s strongest job growth has some in the professional/business services sector. In Johnson City that sector tied with leisure/hospitality for the growth top spot.

Johnson City 20014 - 2008 studyProfessional/business service is a sector that offers good wages and has higher education requirements. It’s also one of the growth areas for women workers.

The Tri-Cities jobs cart shows more than just where most of the jobs are. It’s sort of a sneak preview of how the local economy will stand up against shocks. That’s one of the reasons that isn’t talked about so much in the current discussion over the future of Welmont and MSHA. A shock to that sector is going be hit the local economy hard.  The chart is also a reminder that cuts in government programs and services will also like mean fewer local jobs.

Since manufacturing has dropped into the region’s second largest jobs provider it has actually become more stable. That stability comes with the injection of high technology into processes that used to be the realm of blue collar workers. Good for the industry, tough on those blue collar workers who are now contractors or retraining for new jobs.

It’s also noteworthy that half of the sectors that added jobs in Johnson City since the recession have been in weak pay sectors. That’s goes hand-in-hand with the decline in that MSAs average private sector wage.

kb 2014 - 2008 studyKingsport-Bristol has fared a little better on the pay v. sector growth equation.


MTSU’s employment heat charts are a great way keep tabs labor market performance. It’s a color coded map of how each labor sector in performing against the same month of the previous year.

Green is a good number when looking at MTSU’s employment heat cart and in July there was greener on the Johnson City chart than on Kingsport-Bristol.

Johnson City

There were four growth sectors in July.

-Other services


-Professional/business services

-Education/health services.

The information sector took the biggest hit, followed by government, manufacturing the financial activities.

While sector growth is good, it’s noteworthy that the two biggest growth sectors were in sectors that offer lower-paying jobs while the big loss sectors were in the jobs that pay better.


Johnson City MSA employment heat chart

Kingsport – Bristol.

Growth sectors were:

-Mining, logging and construction

-Information sector.  This is the smallest jobs sector in the MSA and is rebuilding after some hefty layoffs in 2012 and 2013.

-Professional/business services.

Education and Health Services is the biggest job loss category followed by leisure hospitality.


Kingsport-Bristol employment heat chart

©Don Fenley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: