Local jobless claims decline; top job sectors for claims

There was a slight increase in new NE Tenn. unemployment claims in the latest state report while continued claims continued a five-week decline. That dovetails with a flurry of local labor market reports showing a gradually improving labor market, but one that still has more demand than workers.


January’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports showed employers added 900 jobs and that both employment and the labor force increased. The headline unemployment rate rose to 3.5%. A Jobs4TN check found almost 10,000 open jobs in the region’s two metro areas.


The Jan. report was also revised upward the number of December jobs offering a better look at how the region’s year-end labor market performance compared to the previous year and the pre-pandemic benchmark. In short, it shows that the Johnson City metro area has recovered to the number of pre-pandemic nonfarm jobs and added 900 new jobs. The Kingsport-Bristol metro area has some sectors that have recovered, but the overall jobs count is below the pandemic level. That report and a drill-down on what sectors have recovered and which have not can be found by CLICKING HERE.


There were 654 continued unemployment claims in the seven-county region for the week ending on Mar. 12 and 98 new claims. That’s down 78 from the previous week. The same report shows 17 new claims. Those new claims are distributed over all the counties except Washington, which has fewer claims.


Labor Force Participation rates for the region’s two major jobs centers – Sullivan and Washington counties – continue to be well below the state and national levels, but both are improving.

The latest count by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Developments shows the rate in Sullivan Co. is 53.4% and 55.4% in Washington County. Tennessee’s rate is 60.7%, and the U.S. rate is 61.7%.


State data show that the most Sullivan Co. unemployment claims (43) are for construction jobs. At the same time, there are 110 open construction jobs being advertisers in the county.

The county’s top jobs sector with open jobs is Health Care and Social Assistance (1,295). There are 27 unemployment claims in that sector.

The highest number of claims in Washington Co. (29) is in the Manufacturing Sector. That sector has 120 job openings.

The county’s highest number of open jobs (1,007) is in Heath Care and Social Assistance. There are 22 unemployment claims in the sector.

According to the Jobs4TN website there are almost 10,000 jobs openings in the Tri-Cities region.


In a related report, a Wallet Hub report on states with the highest resignation rates ranked Tennessee as 9th in the nation. That report can be found by CLICKING HERE

The February BLS labor market report with another round of revisions will be available later this month and early next month.

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Categories: LABOR MARKET

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