Tri-Cities jobs up, jobless claims down

Jobs creation is back on the positive side of the ledger in September. After two months of disappointing performance, local employers added 600 new jobs. The full labor market report will be available early next week after the county-level unemployment numbers are released.

Jobless claims fall to a three-month low

Another encouraging labor market report came with unemployment claims dropping to the lowest level since early July when the state cut extra federal benefits to push more workers into the labor market.

Clicking on the chart renders a larger version.

Continued unemployment claims in Tri-Cities and Greene Co. for the week ending Oct. 16 dropped to 1,054 from 1,326 the previous week. There were 2,563 claims on the week ending July 3 when the added federal benefits were cut.

There were 42 new claims in the most current report driven by increases of 21 in Sullivan, 22 in Washington, and six in Johnson Co. Region-wide new claims totaled 106. It was the first time they have been in triple digits since the week ending Sept. 25.

New jobs avg. monthly growth rate 278

September’s jobs increase brought the region’s average monthly jobs growth rate to 278. There has been a net gain of 2,500 nonfarm jobs so far this year. The region has 3,500 fewer jobs than it did during Sept. 2019 – the pre-pandemic high.

The 600 job gain is the seasonally adjusted number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ payroll report. The adjusted report smooths out the volatility as jobs are added and cut from the labor market.

Sullivan high wage jobs up 7.6%

Another noteworthy data item was reported this month. It came from the Opportunity Insights team at Harvard University. According to their data, as of Oct. 10 Sullivan Co.’s employment in the high-income range ($60,000 and up) is up 7.6%. Employment for workers in the $29,000 and below wage range was down 5.9%.  The increase and decrease are from Jan. 2021 and are not seasonally adjusted. They illustrate the effect of the K-shaped recovery. The Opportunity Insights project tracks the economic impact of COVID-19.

Data from the other counties in NE TN and SW VA was unavailable for the Oct. 10 report.

The full local labor market report that includes a drill down on where jobs were added or lost and the unemployment rates will be available in this space early next week.

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Categories: LABOR MARKET

2 replies

  1. Don: I enjoy your articles and columns ! We collect and use a lot of census and related data for transportation planning purposes (among other things it tells us where trips are originating from and where they are going to)

    Thanks !!

    Bill Albright, Kingsport Metro-Area Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) — 6th floor Kingsport City Hall)


  1. Tri-Cities job creation back on track, faces challenges - DON FENLEY @ CORE DATA