Johnson City MSA sees another private sector wage decline in April

By DON FENLEY

wage chPrivate sector wages in the Tri-Cities followed a familiar pattern in April.

Kingsport-Bristol’s average weekly age increased when compared to the same month of the previous year while it declined in the Johnson City MSA.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the April weekly average in Kingsport-Bristol was $633.

It was $578 in the Johnson City MSA.

From a trends perspective the weekly average in Johnson City has declined on the year-to-year metric for 35 of the past 36 months. The only deviation from that pattern was in January 2014 when the average was $1 higher than it was in January 2013.

When adjusted for inflation against an April 2008 weekly wage pre-recession benchmark, buying power declined by $66 a week for those making the average wage.

When compared to wages in other Tennessee MSAs, Johnson City moved out of the “lowest-in-the-state” spot last month. However, the move wasn’t due to an increase in Johnson City wages. It was a larger weekly average decline in Jackson.

When adjusted for inflation against the pre-recession benchmark Kingsport-Bristol  workers receiving the private sector weekly average in April had $10 a month more buyer power.

April was the ninth straight month the Kingsport-Bristol weekly average has been positive on the year-to-year metric.

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©Don Fenley

Tri-Cities labor market shows strong April growth – jobless rates at pre-recession levels

By DON FENLEY

nonfarm jobsTri-Cities labor market was on fire in April after modest growth during the first quarter.

Preliminary,  non- seasonally adjusted numbers released Thursday from both the payroll and household surveys show strong job creation and employment growth compared to March and April last year. Unemployment rates in the area’s three major cities are at pre-recession lows.

April’s numbers are preliminary so expect some revisions when May’s reports are released. But that doesn’t cloud this year’s four-month trend line.

NONFARM JOBS UP 3.6% FROM APRIL LAST YEAR

Employers added 2,500 nonfarm jobs in April. Compared to April last year there were 3,600 more jobs in the area. (The numbers are rounded in the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports)

TRI-CITIES UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AT 83-MONTH LOW

The seven-county unemployment rate dropped to 5.3%. It’s lowest mark since May 2008.

EMPLOYMENT AT 29-MONTH HIGH

The number of people who reported they were working was at a 29-month high.

Employment has grown every month this year.

The year began with an OK report in January than showed an employment gain of a little more than 900 from December.  February was a solid improvement with growth of 3,012 from January. Growth slowed to 1,838 in March compared to February.  April’s employment was the best of the year – so far. Almost 4,200 more reported they were working than in March.

April put local employment back to a 2012 level.  From a trends perspective that’s significant because 2012 is the year the local labor market began a double-dip after a pretty good from the Great Recession. It now looks like that double dip bottomed in December 2014.

HOW PAYROLL, HOUSEHOLD NUMBER DIFFER

Both the payroll and household surveys are needed for a complete picture of the labor market. The payroll survey provides a gauge of monthly change in jobs on the MSA level, but it does not include agricultural jobs and omits some self-employment, part-time and contract jobs.

The household survey provides a broader picture of employment including agriculture and self-employment. It’s focus is on the number of people employed and those looking for a job. It’s also used to calculate the unemployment rate.

REALITY CHECK

While the labor’s market’s growth during the first four months of this year is encouraging the sobering reality is both employment and nonfarm jobs are still significantly lower than they were before the recession.

April’s employment is 15,602 lower than it was in April 2008.

April’s nonfarm job total is 2,800 lower than it was in April 2008.

And the quality of the jobs added since the recession is mixed.

While the number of high-paying jobs has increased most of the jobs growth has come in the service sector where many of the jobs are part-time jobs with few if any benefits and at the low-end of the pay scale. While private-sector wages in the Kingsport-Bristol MSA have increased when adjusted for inflation, private sector workers in the three-county Johnson City MSA have seen their average wage decline.

A separate pay report will be filed early next week.

Here’s how April’s employment, jobs creation and unemployment numbers look in the region’s two MSAs:

JOHNSON CITY MSA – 5.4%

Employers added 1,200 jobs in April. Last month’s nonfarm job total is 1,300 better than it was the same month last year. April was the third straight month of job creation growth.

Employment grew by 1,749 compared to March and was 2,882 better than it was April last year. Employment has increased every month this year when compared to the previous month.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2008.

KINGSPORT-BRISTOL – 5.2%

Employers added 1,300 jobs in April. It was the third straight month of job creation growth and 2,300 jobs better than the total April last year.

Employment was up 2,444 in April and 3,406 better than it was the same month last year. On the month-to-month metric employment has increased for four straight months.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2008.

Here’s how the employment numbers looked in the area’s three major cities: (nonfarm job creation numbers are not available on the city level)

BRISTOL – 5.4%

There were 234 more people who reported they had jobs than in March. Compared to April last year employment is up 372.

When compared to the previous month, employment has increased every month this year.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since November 2008.

JOHNSON CITY – 5.5%

Employment has increased every month this year and in April was 597 better than March. On the year-to-year metric it’s up 4.3% (996) since April last year.

The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since May 2008.

KINGSPORT – 5.5%

Employment has grown every month this year in the model city as it has in the other city markets.  April’s increase was 423. On the year-to-year metric employment has increased 3.4% (721) since April last year.

The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since May 2008.

Tri Cities employment

 

© Don Fenley

 

 

 

 

 

Tri-Cities foreclosure, delinquent mortgage rates trending lower

By DON FENLEY

ForeclosuresForeclosure and delinquent mortgage rates in the Tri-Cities continued performing at near pre-recession levels according to the March updates from CoreLogic.

Delinquent mortgages in both the Kingsport-Bristol and Johnson City MSA trended lower for the third straight month when compared to the same moths of the previous year.

mortgagesForeclosures in Kingsport-Bristol declined on the year-to-year comparison for three straight months then were unchanged in March.

The Johnson City MSA foreclosure trend has been a little more erratic. It began trending higher in Nov. last year then dipped in February only to increase in March.

Like the delinquent mortgage rate, foreclosures in both MSAs are at or very near pre-recession levels of a half of a percent.

In March the CoreLogic data shows that the rate of Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.58%, a decrease of 0.08% compared to March of 2014. Foreclosure activity in Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.39% for March.

Also in Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, the mortgage delinquency rate decreased. According to CoreLogic 2.76% percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 3.19% percent last year, representing a decrease of 0.43 percentage points.

The national delinquent mortgage rate in March was 3.73%.

The Foreclosure rate in the Johnson City MSA was 0.61% percent in March 2015, a decrease of 0.01%   to March last year/

Also in Johnson City, the mortgage delinquency rate decreased. According to CoreLogic data 2.66% of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 3.03% last year, representing a decrease of 0.37 points.

CoreLogic’s 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).

CoreLogic’s 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.

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No improvement in U.S. Economic Confidence Index

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index registered -9 for the week ending May 24, two points lower than the previous week. This reading remains lower than scores in the first four months of 2015, but is still much higher than what Gallup has found over most of the previous seven years.

The index has been in negative territory for all but one of the past 14 weekly readings. After consistent readings well below zero since the beginning of the recession, the index finally moved into positive territory in late December 2014 and remained there for nearly two months, coincident with the steep drop in gas prices. By mid-February, though, Americans’ economic confidence dropped into negative territory again and has averaged -4 ever since. Recent readings have dipped a bit further into the negative, including a -9 score three weeks ago.

CLICK HERE for the full report, charts and methodology.

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