Tri-Cities June labor market report shows gains, Kingsport-Bristol lags Johnson City MSA performance


June’s Tri-Cities’ jobs report is a study in contrast.

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Preliminary, non-adjusted numbers and the trend looks very good in the three-county Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), and OK in the four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA. It’s just OK in Kingsport-Bristol because while jobs are being created the growth rate trend is on a downward glide path.

Tri-Cities job creation trend by MSAs. CLICKING ON CHART RENDERS LARGER VERSION

 

The contrast is stark in the average private sector wage report. Johnson City MSA workers are enjoying a faster wage growth rate than the national average while Kingsport-Bristol workers suffered the sixth straight monthly decline.

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Area wide the seven-county nonfarm job creation growth rate has averaged 0.5% a month this year. June’s rate was 0.6%. That’s a trend calculation based on a year-over-year change in the three-month moving job creation average to get the noise out of the numbers. Preliminary, non-adjusted numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the region had 199,100 nonfarm jobs in June. That’s 1,700 more than June last year. However, despite the added jobs and some record-level pre-recession level unemployment rates, the region’s nonfarm jobs have not recovered to pre-recession levels. The mid-year total is 2,500 fewer jobs than the first six months of 2008.

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Middle Tennessee State University’s job growth heat chart shows manufacturing and retail jobs are currently suffering the most in Kingsport-Bristol. There has been growth in the government, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services transportation and utilities and construction jobs – just not enough to offset the manufacturing and retail losses. Both of those sectors are among the region’s top five job producers.

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Johnson City has seen the strongest growth in professional and business services, financial activities, retail trade, government and leisure, and hospitality. Sectors showing the biggest losses are transportation and utilities and manufacturing. Education and health services are logging flat to weak year-over-year performance.

EMPLOYMENT

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The Tri-Cities’ unemployment rate increased from May’s record low of 3.4% to 4.6% in June because there were 2,000 more people in the labor force. There were 2,480 more people employed in June than June last year. The year-over-year labor force comparison shows a gain of two people last month.

The labor market trend has been positive since March last year. The best gains came between September and March. So far, this year growth has averaged 0.8% a month. It began contracting in April and by June was at 0% with 226,500 people reported in the labor force. The labor participation rate in counties across the region has steadily declined as the Baby Boomer Generation moves into retirement and the region’s underemployment woes continue. The most current annual rate shows 54.5% of area working-age residents were in the labor force.

The employment trend has been slowly moving higher since March. So far, this year it has grown at a monthly average rate of 0.8%. June’s rate was 1%.

When comparing the unemployment rate and labor force seeing a rising jobless rate when the labor force is increasing a good sign because the employment situation is pulling more people into the market. When the unemployment rate falls because of participation, it’s usually a bad sign.

JOHNSON CITY MSA

Johnson City saw its sixth straight gain in employment in June while the labor force growth trend is contacting.

June unemployment rate increased 1.5% from May’s record low to 4.7%.

So far, this year the nonfarm job creation trend growth rate is 0.2% per month. June’s rate was 1.4% – a high for the year.

The three-county area was 500 jobs shy of its pre-recession level in June.

JOHNSON CITY MSA PRIVATE SECTOR WAGE

Private sector workers saw their 23rd straight month of year-over-year average weekly wage gains.

So far, this year wages have been increasing at an average monthly rate of 6.8%. June’s average was $670 a week, up 8.3% from June last year.

KINGSPORT-BRISTOL MSA

June’s unemployment rate increased 1.1% to 4.6% in June.

Kingsport-Bristol’s monthly average job creation rate trend for the first half of this year is 0.2%. June’s rate was 1%.

In June, there were 121,000 nonfarm jobs in the four-county region, 2,000 fewer than there was before the recession.

Kingsport-Bristol continued pushing past a four-month employment growth trend decline that began December last year. It bottomed in March and began slowly turning higher.

KINGSPORT-BRISTOL MSA PRIVATE SECTOR WAGE

Private sector wages have declined at an average rate of 2.9% every month this year.

June’s average was $631.54 compared to $658.08 June last year.

BRISTOL TN

There were 51 more people employed in Bristol during June than June last year while the labor force increased by 560 people.

The longer-term trend outlook shows the labor force declined in both May and June after 16 months of growth.

June’s employment trend has been positive for 20 months, but the growth rate has dropped below 1%. In June it was 0.4, double the monthly average so far, this year.

June’s unemployment rate dropped 1.9% from May’s record low to 4.8% in June.

JOHNSON CITY

Johnson City saw the strongest employment growth of any the major local cities in June. There were 435 more people employed than June last year and the labor force grew by 1,420 people.

So far, this year the employment growth trend rate has averaged 0.4%, and Johnson City’s monthly performance has been better than double that since April.

The labor force trend has grown at an average rate of 1.9% so far, this year – in June it was 1.9%.

Like the other areas, record low unemployment rates increased in June. Johnson City’s rate in May was 2.6%. In June, it was 4%.

KINGSPORT

Employment was up 0.5% from June last year in Kingsport. That means 106 more people had jobs than June last year. At the same time, there were 151 fewer people in the Model City’s labor force compared to June last year.

Kingsport employment trend has grown at an average monthly rate of 0.5% this year, and the monthly labor force trend growth rate is 0.6%. However, it was minus 0.3% in May and minus 0.7% in June.

Kingsport June unemployment rate increased to 4.6% from May’s record low of 3.3%.

 

 

 

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