Q3 Tri-Cities labor market performance best since recession

ETSU economist Dr. Steb Hipple said the second and third quarters showed the best labor market conditions since the Great Recession.

His third quarter labor market analysis was released Monday.

October’s Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll and employment reports will be available next week. September’s preliminary numbers showed nonfarm jobs continued increasing while the employment picture softened. BLS reports also show an improvement in the Johnson City average private sector wage and heat charts that track the growth of individual wage sectors show eight Kingsport-Bristol sectors with gains over last year. In the Johnson City market sector four overall conditions were flat. Reports and charts on those stories from September can be accessed with the links. Reports on the October labor market will be posted to this site as they become available.


Sept. sees Tri-Cities jobs gains; softer employment performance

Johnson City sees Sept. wage gains; softer pay performance in Kingsport-Bristol 

Heat charts map Tri-Cities job sector gains and losses


Dr. Hipple’s Q3 report says, all three of the Tri-Cities major cities continued to enjoy the best labor market conditions in years.  During the summer months, employment grew 2.3% in Johnson City, 2.0% in Kingsport, and 1.2% in Bristol.  Unemployment fell by double digits in each city, reducing the unemployment rate to 5.6% in Bristol, 6.2% in Kingsport, and 6.3% in Kingsport.”

“In the regional Tri-Cities economy, the BLS payroll and employment data continue to be in sync and show strong employment growth.  As noted in previous reports, the  household jobs numbers showed declines from 2012 to 2014, while the payroll figures showed growth.  Only the payroll employment data were consistent with the higher retail sales in the region.  And notably, the retail sector reported the second largest job growth in the third quarter.

“ Looking ahead, the national economy is expected to continue its overall expansion above the rate of population growth.  This will slowly add the nine million missing workers back into the productive labor force and reduce the number of families on welfare.  The effect on government budget deficits could be significant. The regional economy also has a good outlook.  The Tri-Cities area is now clearly plugged into the national expansion, and as long as the U.S. economy grows, our regional economy will prosper.  And higher local incomes will provide the basis for continued retail growth. “

Dr. Hipple’s analysis and data can be found at http://faculty.etsu.edu/hipples/LF15q3.htm



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