Tri-Cities employers add 500 jobs in March; Johnson City metro continues strongest local job growth

Timeline of First Quarter nonfarm job totals.

Tri-Cities employers added 500 nonfarm jobs in March and the unemployment rate ticked up by 0.1%. Employment was 878 better than February’s total and the labor force increased by 1,218 people.

March’s labor market picture was an extension of what we’ve seen so far this year from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The three-county Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) growth rate continued by a couple hundred jobs a month. So far this year the MSA’s total preliminary non-adjusted nonfarm jobs exceeded pre-recession benchmarks every month. The quarterly preliminary total is also 1.2% better than the pre-recession benchmark and has been positive every first quarter since 2015. That shows the Johnson City metro area labor market has recovered from the recession and has about a thousand jobs a month more than before the recession.

The trend is showing the seasonal decline but growth over the same periods last year.

Kingsport-Bristol continues to see growth – just at a slower pace. Employers added 100 jobs in March, but the four-county area’s quarterly jobs total was 0.9% below the pre-recession quarterly benchmark. The first three months of this year was an improvement over last year when job growth stalled during the first quarter. March’s jobs total was 1,600 below what it was March 2008.

Statewide all MSAs except Kingsport-Bristol and Morristown had job totals that exceeded the Q1 pre-recession benchmark. Those quarterly figures also show the Nashville, Cleveland, and Clarksville metro areas have job growth rates higher than the state rate. Knoxville and Johnson City are the only NE Tenn. metro areas with positive job growth rates on the Q1 comparison.

Nonfarm jobs continued to see slow growth but have not reached the pre-recession benchmark, yet.

The three-month moving average nonfarm job trend line declined for the third straight month in March, which is a seasonal norm.

Johnson City labor sectors that had job growth over February included: Education and Health Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services and Government. The only sector with a month-over-month job loss was Professional and Business Services.

Kingsport-Bristol labor sectors showing month-over-month growth in March included: Government and Leisure and Hospitality. Sectors with month-over-month job losses were: Manufacturing; Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Professional and Business Services.

The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors had the largest number of Tri-Cities employees in March (37,000) followed by Government (34,000); Education and Health Services (33,200); Manufacturing (28,800); Leisure and Hospitality (23,100); Professional and Business Services (20,900); Other Services (8,400); Mining, Logging and Construction (8,200); Financial Activities (8,000) and Information (2,400).

NE Tennessee’s three smaller metro areas were positive when compared to Q1 last year, but did not reach the state year-over-year growth level of 1.5%

Unemployment rates for the region, metro areas, counties and cities with 25,000 or more population were:

Tri-Cities, 3.7%

Johnson City MSA, 3.6%

Kingsport-Bristol MSA 3.7%

Carter Co. 4.1%

Greene Co. 4.5%

Hawkins Co. 3.9%

Kingsport-Bristol and Morristown are the only metro areas in the state that had a Q1 nonfarm job level less than the pre-recession level.

Johnson Co., 3.5%

Sullivan Co. 3.7%

Unicoi Co. 5%

Washington Co. 3.3%

Bristol, TN 3.8%

Johnson City 3.2%

Kingsport 3.8%

Tennessee 3.2%

U.S. 3.8%.

Report shows county population growth, losses in Tri-Cities; Washington Co. TN, Sullivan, Greene see most local growth

Northeast Tennessee’s population grew to 1.5 million in 2018, an 0.6% increase from 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates released this week. All that growth in three of the region’s four metro areas came from migration. Knoxville was the only metro area with natural population growth (more births than deaths).

Knoxville had the strongest population growth rate at 0.9% followed by Morristown with 0.6%, then Johnson City at 0.4% and Kingsport-Bristol at 0.1%.

The Tri-Cities’ population increased by 1,238 people to 509,335 – 0.2% growth from 2017.

Within the Tri-Cities market region, Washington County TN added the most population – a total that exceeded the net population total for 13 political jurisdictions in the region.

Carter was the only NE Tenn. county that saw a population decrease.

All the SW Va. jurisdictions with the exception of the city Norton lost population.

Population changes for NE Tennessee four Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Sullivan County saw the most migration last year (1,229), but its low birth rate and the high death rate dropped its net population gain to second place in the region behind Washington County which had 1,014 new residents.

Greene County attracted 598 new residents followed by Hawkins County with 265 then Johnson County with 233.

Washington County VA (126) and the city of Norton (67) were the only two SW VA jurisdictions where there was positive in-migration. The Census reports show the other jurisdictions had out-migration.  Here’s how the out-migration numbers look:

Lee Co. – 125

Scott Co. – 92

Wise Co. – 546

Bristol, VA – 67

This week’s release will be fodder for more detailed population and migration pattern stories in the coming weeks.





Q1 Tri-Cities area foreclosures unchanged from 2017; Washington Co. TN sees increase, Sullivan Co. has decline

The status of Tri-Cities area properties with foreclosure activity during the first three months of this year is basically flat with levels from the past two years.  At the same time, there has been a shift in the region’s two largest county markets.

The number of foreclosures in Washington County TN increased from Q1 last year they decreased in Sullivan County. Although the number of new filings increased last year, the foreclosure rate for the region’s two metro areas is back to pre-recession level of about one-half of a percent.

There were 270 properties with foreclosures in Q1 according to Attom Data Solution’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. That number is unchanged from the first three months of 2017. The differs from the national situation. Attom’s report says filings were down 15% from Q1 last year.

“While some markets saw a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, that is above pre-recession levels, the majority of the major markets are well below pre-recession levels,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at Attom. “While we did see a slight increase in U.S. foreclosure starts from last quarter, bank repossessions reached an all-time low in the first quarter of 2019, showing continuing signs of a strong housing market.”

The report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered the Attom Data Warehouse during the month and quarter. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the quarter may have been recorded in the previous quarter. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90% of the U.S. population. ATTOM’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default(NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). For the annual, midyear and quarterly reports, if more than one type of foreclosure document is received for a property during the timeframe, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The annual, midyear, quarterly and monthly reports all check if the same type of document was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current year, quarter or month.


Tri-Cities real estate listings getting more views than U.S. average, inventory moving slower

The Tri-Cities housing market hotness transition that began last month picked up a little more momentum in March.’s housing market hotness index shows the Kingsport-Bristol metro area getting warmer while the Johnson City metro market is cooling. That’s just the trend position. Johnson City is still ranked a hotter market than Kingsport-Bristol.

That assessment comes from’s monthly Market Hotness Index, which monitors how local areas are experiencing supply and demand. The analysis breaks down demand and supply dynamics to rank metro areas relative to the rest of the country. Views of listing are used as a demand indicator while median days on the market are used as a supply indicator.

Here’s how the March indices look for the seven-county Tri-Cities market’s two metro areas

“Johnson City is ranked #127 out of 300 metros. It’s listed as a warm market that is cooling down compared to last month and cooling down slightly compared to last year. Median days on market is 88 days, with inventory moving 24% slower than last year and 23 days slower than the U.S. overall. Properties in the three-county area receive an average number of views 1.7 times higher than the U.S. average.

“Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol is ranked #198. says is a slightly cool market that is heating up compared to last month and heating up compared to last year. Median days on market is 109 days, with inventory moving 5% faster than last year and 44 days slower than the U.S. overall. Properties in the four-county area receive an average number of views 1.3 times higher than the U.S. average.”










%d bloggers like this: