By DON FENLEY
TRI-CITIES, Tenn. – Job creation is still increasing, but it slowed to a seasonally adjusted rate of 433 a month in June. It was the 26th consecutive month for adjusted jobs gains in the Johnson City, Kingsport-Bristol TN VA Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The local market is following a national trend of slower hiring.
Employers added 800 seasonally adjusted jobs in June and the unemployment rate increased to 3.9%. A surge of a little over 1,000 people coming into the labor force while the number of those employed decreased caused the rate increase.
There were a record 211,500 non-adjusted non-farm jobs in the region in June.
FASTEST GROWTH JOBS
According to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the fastest growing class jobs and their average annual salary in NE TN are:
- Fast food and counter workers – $22,052
- Retail salespersons – $27,540
- Servers – $19,880
- Cashiers – $22,461
June’s average weekly wage in NE TN was $25.68. It was $36.26 in TN.
The MIT Living Wage Calculator puts a local living wage for a two-person (both working 35 hours a week) and a child at about $1,200 a week – $62,400 a year. According to the Census Bureau, the local median family household income is $67,596.
The Jobs4TN website is reporting 7,565 advertised open jobs in the region. The top five firms and their number of open jobs are:
- Ballad – 850
- Ingles Markets – 229
- Food City – 167
- ETSU – 147
- Tacala – 75
LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION UP
The labor force participation rate for all Tenn. counties in the region increased. They all also lagged the state and US rates.
Sullivan and Hawkins counties had the largest increase. Sullivan was up 1% from 53.1%. Hawkins was up 0.9% from 49.6%. The other county increases ranged from 0.2 in Unicoi to 0.3% in Washington County, which had the region’s highest rate (56.3%) The US rate is 62.5%. It’s 59.4% in TN.
SECTORS ADDING, CUTTING JOBS IN JUNE
Sectors that added jobs in the June non-adjusted monthly churn were:
- Retail trade
- Other services
Sectors that lost jobs were:
- Transportation and utilities
- Leisure and hospitality
Categories: LABOR MARKET