Tri-Cities employers kept the sizzle on the recovery last month. They added 1,400 new jobs – 400 when seasonally adjusted. And the region’s unemployment rate dropped below 3% for the third time in six months.
Employers have been adding an average of 767 non-adjusted jobs a month. That’s pulling more workers into the labor force and boosting the region’s anemic labor participation rates. But employers still need more workers to keep up with consumer demand.
The Jobs4TN website says there are 8,003 open jobs in the Tri-Cities. Most (4,989) are in the four-county Kingsport-Bristol metro area. The three-county Johnson City metro area has 3,014 available jobs. March’s total is down from previous months when it was in the 9,000 plus range.
Ballad, the region’s second-largest employer, has the lion’s share (957) of those open jobs. Food City, the region’s largest employer, has 250 open jobs. ETSU, Eastman Chemical, Hard Rock, State of Franklin Healthcare, and McDonald’s are also on the list of companies with the most open jobs.
WHERE JOBS INCREASED
Kingsport-Bristol added the most new jobs (800) in March. The Johnson City metro area added 300. Here’s how the monthly jobs scorecard looked:
- Construction – up 100
- Manufacturing – up 300
- Wholesale Trade – no change
- Retail Trade – up 100
- Transportation and Utilities – down 100
- Information – no change
- Financial Activities – up 100
- Professional and Business Services – up 100
- Education and Health Services – up 200
- Leisure and Hospitality – up 200
- Other Services – no change
- Government – up 200
LABOR DEMAND BY JOB SECTOR
Here’s a drill-down on open jobs by labor sector in the region’s two largest counties:
- Health Care and Social Assistance – 998
- Retail Trade – 641
- Accommodations and Food Services – 464
- Administration and Support – 381
- Educational Services – 174
- Manufacturing – 171
- Finance and Insurance – 122
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – 92
- Wholesale Trade – 85
- Construction – 53
- Transportation and Warehousing – 53
- Unclassified – 2,736
- Health Care and Social Assistance – 1,194
- Retail Trade – 678
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – 586
- Accommodations and Food Service – 575
- Manufacturing – 113
- Transportation and Warehousing – 89
LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATES
The current labor force participation rates in the region’s two largest counties are:
- Sullivan Co – 53.9%, up for the second month.
- Washington Co. – 59.1%, up for the third straight month.
- The U.S. rate is 62.4%. It’s 61% for Tennessee.
The region’s jobs recovery is far more vigorous than the slow slog back from the Great Recession. It was up 1,700 jobs from the March 2019 pre-pandemic benchmark. The Johnson City metro area has created most of the new jobs. Its seasonally adjusted total is 2,300 more than the pre-pandemic benchmark.
Kingsport-Bristol has added jobs at a brisker pace during the past two months; however, it’s still 600 jobs below the benchmark.
March’s regional non-adjusted total is 100 jobs more than the pre-pandemic annual benchmark.
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Categories: LABOR MARKET
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