Jobless claims increase despite federal benefits cut off

1 minute, 48-second read
Tennessee’s political remedy to nudge workers back to the labor force may be working – just not to the degree or as quick as expected.  Employers are hiring as the economy expands and continue lamenting that they can’t find enough workers even though the extra federal jobless benefits were cut off.

New and continued claims for the week ending on July 31 were higher than they were at the cut-off point. Some of that can be attributed to the seasonal school year’s end on the labor market.

The largest number of new claims came from Hawkins, Greene and Sullivan counties.

Greene Co. has the largest continued claims increase, followed by Sullivan Co.

There were 2,785 continued jobless benefits claims in the Tri-Cities region at the latest count. That’s 221 more than there was a cut off point.

The number of new claims was 340, up 264.

The U.S. labor market report showed robust hiring during July. It was better than economists expected.  The local report will be available in the latter part of this month.

Clicking on chart renders a larger image.

The June local report showed the number of nonfarm jobs unchanged from May. Much of that was driven by typical seasonal churn at the end of the school year.

Clicking on chart renders a larger image.

At mid-year, the Tri-Cities labor market was adding jobs at an unadjusted average rate of 196 a month. At that rate, it would take a little more than another 12 months for the area to reach its pre-pandemic jobs total.

The not seasonally adjusted, preliminary nonfarm jobs total shows the region is 2,500 jobs below the 2019 pre-pandemic level. That year is used because it was the baseline recovery year that wasn’t skewed the pandemic or recession it sparked.

Here’s a drill down on June jobs by sector compared to the unadjusted totals from June 2019.

Mining, logging and construction – down 500.

Manufacturing – down 1,000.

Wholesale trade – up 200

Retail trade – down 100

Transportation and utilities – up 400

Information – down 400

Financial activities – down 100

Professional and business services – up 1,800

Education and health services – down 2,000

Leisure and hospitality – down 1,400

Government – up 600

The July local labor market report and the number of open jobs being advertised will be available later this month.

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Categories: LABOR MARKET