February Tri-Cities jobs, employment reports positive

By DON FENLEY

The Tri-Cities jobs and employment was positive in February according to preliminary reports that measure employment and jobs. That’s a reversal from a previous pattern where the current population survey showed a decline in employment while the current employment survey showed an increase in nonfarm jobs.

KPT

The data for this report is preliminary, not seasonally adjusted and still subject to changes next month from the annual adjustment.

JC

The data for this report is preliminary, not seasonally adjusted and still subject to changes next month from the annual adjustment.

Bristol

The data for this report is preliminary, not seasonally adjusted and still subject to changes next month from the annual adjustment.

The employment report comes with the caveat that preliminary, unadjusted data from 2010 forward is still subject to more revision next month as part of the annual adjustment.  This is the report used for the monthly unemployment rate. It’s the smaller of two monthly labor market studies and sometimes called the household survey. It’s broken down to the 25,000 population and above city level. The household survey focuses on who had a job – not where the job is located.  For example, February’s employment for Kingsport is up 156 from January and 1,541 higher than February 2014. But the employment report does not tell you where those Kingsport residents had jobs. Obviously, some are working in Bristol. Others commute to Johnson City or elsewhere.  The employment survey – sometimes called the payroll survey –  is a larger sample and viewed by many as the more reliable labor market indicator. It breaks jobs down by public and private sectors and by the 12 job sectors. However, it’s not available on the county or city level. It also under reports self-employed and contract workers.

On the Tri-Cities and MSA levels February employment was higher than it was in January and lower than February last year.

Here’s how February’s unemployment rates looked across the Tri-Cities compared to January’s jobless rate.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

Tri-Cities – 6.3% down 0.7%

Johnson City MSA – 6.6%, down 0.9%.

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN VA – 6.2%, down 0.5%.

Greeneville Micropolitian Area – 7.8%, down 1%.

Carter Co. – 7.3%, down 0.8%

Greene Co. – 7.8%, down 1%.

Johnson Co. – 7.4%, down 0.6%.

Sullivan Co. – 6.3%, down 0.6%

Unicoi Co. – 9.1%, down 1.2%.

Washington Co. – 6.1%, down 0.2%.

Bristol, TN – 5.8%, down 1.3%

Johnson City – 6.2%, down 0.1%.

Kingsport – 6.3%, down 0.3%.

CITY EMPLOYMENT DRILL DOWN

KINGSPORT

Employment is up in Kingsport on both the month-to-month and year-to-year metrics. It’s the only city with both metrics positive.

 JOHNSON CITY

Employment is up compared to January and lower on the February year-to-year metric.

BRISTOL

Employment is higher than January, but lower than February last year.

The payroll survey shows more nonfarm jobs in the Tri-Cities when compared to February last year and to January’s total with the strongest month-to-month gains in the Johnson City MSA. %.  When compared to the January total the Johnson City MSA is up 1.2% and Kingsport-Bristol is up 0.4%. Compared to February 2014 the three-county Johnson City MSA was up 1.8% and the four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA was up 2%. Revised data show the Tri-Cities added a little more than 1,900 nonfarm jobs in 2014.

Johnson City saw year-to-year growth in the construction, manufacturing, information, professional and business services and the education and health service sectors.

Kingsport-Bristol saw growth in the manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and government sectors.

A good way to track individual sector performance it with MTSU’s heat carts, which will be referenced on this site as soon as it’s available.

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Johnson City MSA foreclosure, delinquent mortgage rates continue trending lower

By DON FENLEY

Although foreclosure rates drifted slightly higher in December and January the overall trend the for Johnson City MSA continues to be downward.

JC Jan 2015According to CoreLogic’s current report foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.61% in January, a decrease of 0.08 points compared to January 2014. Foreclosure activity in Johnson City was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.46%.

Foreclosures peaked in January and February of 2011 and have slowly declined toward a pre-recession rate of a half of a percent.

At the same time mortgage delinquency rate continued it decline. According to CoreLogic data for January the rate of mortgage loans 90 days or more delinquent was down 0.32 points when compared to January 2014.

The three-county area’s delinquency rate peaked at 4.28% in January 2012 the began its steady decline. January’s rate was 0.1% higher than December.

CoreLogic’s Delinquency Rate measures the percentage of loans that are more than 90 days delinquent, including those in foreclosure and REO (real estate owned).

The Foreclosure Rate measures the percentage of loans in some stage of the foreclosure process. A foreclosure is defined by the legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default. This does not represent the number of new foreclosure filings.

Kingsport-Bristol foreclosures, delinquent mortgages continue trending lower

By DON FENLEY

Foreclosure and delinquent mortgage rates in Kingsport-Bristol continued trending lower in January according to CoreLogic’s most recent report.

KB Jan 2015CoreLogic’s data show the rate of foreclosures in the four-county area among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.62%, down 0.19 points compared to January of 2014. Foreclosure activity in Kingsport-Bristol was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.46% for January 2015.

Kingsport-Bristol’s foreclosure rate is almost back to its traditional normal range of a half-of-a-percent of outstanding mortgages. The rate peaked at 1.81% of mortgages in October 2011 and has steadily declined since then. It dropped below the 1% range in July 2013.

The mortgage delinquency rate also decreased. The percent of mortgage loans 90 days or more delinquent was  3.09%, 0.47 percentage points lower than January 2014.

The 90+ Day Delinquency Rate measures the percentage of loans that are more than 90 days delinquent, including those in foreclosure and REO (real estate owned).

Foreclosure Rate measures the percentage of loans in some stage of the foreclosure process. A foreclosure is defined by the legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default. This does not represent the number of new foreclosure filings.

 

Who got the biggest share of Tri-Cities retail sales in 2014?

By DON FENLEY

The surge of retail sales that began last summer continued into the fourth quarter of 2104 and this time there was job creation data behind sales.

2014 shareIn his Q4 Retail Sales Report analysis ETSU economist Dr. Steb Hipple wrote, “In the fourth quarter labor market report, we discussed the data available for employment.  The BBER labor reports are based on the Current Population Survey (CPS) which has been showing declines in regional and local job levels.  A second data source is Current Employment Statistics (CES) and this source shows employment growth in the metro area which matches the turnaround in retail activity.  So the jobs are there, and the retail recovery does have a secure foundation.”

In other words, the CPS – or employment survey used to report the unemployment rate is still out of step. It’s been that way for a while and data watchers are waiting for the annual readjustments due for release next month to see what they may – or may not add – to the story. More about that next month.

According to Dr. Hipple’s report when compared to 2013 “Bristol sales increased 7.5% to $279 million, while Kingsport sales rose 7.4% to $438 million and Johnson City sales were up 4.8% to $556 million.  Adjusted for inflation, sales volume increased 6.2% in Bristol, 6.2% in Kingsport, and 3.5% in Johnson City.  In comparison, retail activity rose 3.9% in the metro area, 5.8% in Tennessee, and 3.0% in the United States.

“The annual data for 2014 reflect the summer and fall turnaround in retail performance.  For the year, dollars sales increased 4.3% in Kingsport to $1,588 million, 3.8% in Bristol to $1040 million, and 1.0% in Johnson City to $1965 million.  Adjusted for inflation, the 2014 sales volume rose 2.7% in Kingsport, 2.1% in Bristol, and 1.0% in Johnson City.”

Local media gave the good news strong coverage. But there’s another aspect to the data that doesn’t get much attention. And it’s worth a look every now and then.

Competition for retail sales is a fact of life in the Tri-Cities. Each of the three cities devotes a lot of attention and effort to boosting and protecting their share. The reason is easy to understand.  Sales tax revenue is the mother’s milk of local government that pays for local services and personnel.

The quarterly or monthly gains or losses give the big picture some clarity, but it’s rare that anyone talks about the who gets the biggest share of the Tri-Cities retail sales pie.

It’s not Bristol – even with the growing pull of the Pinnacle. Nor is it Johnson City, which does get the biggest piece of the pie when cities are compared. And it’s not Kingsport even though the Model City has done the best job of slowly growing their share of the Tri’s Retail Pie.

The counties and smaller jurisdictions outside the city confines of the big three cities account for the biggest share of the Tri-Cities CSA’s retail sales taxes – 33.8% in 2014.

And how has all of the maneuvering and deals cut to attract and retain and grow local retail retailers paid off?

Compared to a 2008 pre-recession benchmark Bristol saw almost $32 million less last year.

Using the same benchmark Johnson City was up $117 million and Kingsport was up almost $143 million. And the aggregated of the jurisdictions outside the big three were up $375 million.

Of the three cities, Kingsport has seen more success in building its annual share of the region’s retail sales. It has increased modestly for three straight years. But Johnson City’s share hasn’t changed more than half of 1% since 2007. Its piece of the pie is consistently 28 plus percent.

And the outsiders?

The annual share has dipped slightly (less than a percent) four time in the 2008-2014 period. Those areas consistently claim slightly better than a third of all retail sales, according to some recrunching of Dr. Hipple’s data. His fourth quarter sales tax report and tables can be found at http://faculty.etsu.edu/hipples/RS14q4.htm

 

 

 

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