Job creation slows, many positions still open

Job creation slowed in the Tri-Cities during April. Employers added 200 jobs. So far this year, the monthly new jobs average is 275.

Employment was up by 1,900 persons, and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2%, according to non-adjusted Bureau of Labor Statics.

There were 6,772 local jobs being advertised on Jobs4TN, up from 5,661 in April.

The local economy has clawed back 11,600 jobs since the April 2020 labor market crash, but it’s still down 5,000 jobs from the month before the crash.

Most of April’s new jobs – 500 – were in the Leisure and Hospitality Sector as restaurants and the Service Sector continued to recover.

Despite the improvements, Leisure and Hospitality was 1,300 workers below its pre-pandemic level. Some local restaurants have posted signs apologizing to customers for slow service and shorter hours due to the labor shortage. At the same time, some prior food service workers say they are looking for work in other sectors. Others are holding out for better wages.

The Tri-Cities has a chronic underemployment issue, and the local average private-sector wages are among the lowest in the state. In April, it was $617 a week in the Johnson City metro area and $723 in Kingsport-Bristol the state average was $927.

Other sectors that added jobs in April were:

  • Professional and Business Services – 200.
  • Other Services – 200.
  • Government 100.

Sectors cutting jobs in April were:

  • Manufacturing – 200
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities – 500
  • Education and Health Services – 100.

Construction, Information, and Financial Activities were unchanged from March.

The Jobs4TN website reports employers are advertising 2,581 jobs in the three-county Johnson City metro area. Top advertisers were:

  • Ballad Health – 292
  • Food City – 91
  • East Tennessee State University – 86
  • State of Franklin Health Care – 44
  • McDonald’s – 27.

The two Tennessee counties in the Kingsport-Bristol metro area have 4,191 open jobs. Top firms advertising those jobs are:

  • Ballad Health – 420.
  • Food City – 179.
  • McDonald’s – 102.
  • Eastman Chemical Co. – 86
  • Encompass Health Corp. – 56

Data sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics non-adjusted payroll report, Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment report, Jobs4TN, Bureau of Labor Statistics State and Area Employment, Hours and Earnings, and Bureau of Labor Statistics economy at a glance.

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Categories: LABOR MARKET