Tennessee is a joke.

Job Market Continues to Implode in Tri-Cities Bristol

compiled by Lewis Loflin

The appalling job and poverty problems of Tri-Cities mirrors to a more advanced degree what has gripped the nation. The haves like to pretend everything is just fine, jobs are plentiful, and we even have a labor shortage and need to import more foreign replacement workers to join the almost 18% of the economy they already work in.

Yet retail sales have INCREASED while retail jobs like nationally have fallen in Tri-Cities Bristol. What gives? The opening of Bass Pro Shop at the taxpayer funded Pinnacle development in Bristol is hailed with opening many new stores. What is ignored is the closure and relocation of existing business - that's why retail jobs have fallen.

The reality is based on disability many go onto to earn a living, those leaving the labor force, and the official unemployed the real unemployment rate for Tri-Cities Bristol is easily one-third. Don't take my word for it.

CNN: In a setback, the U.S. economy gained 126,000 jobs last month, much worse than expected.

Bristol Tri-Cities Steb Hipple ETSU

Tri-Cities Labor Market Report - East Tennessee State University - Fourth Quarter 2014 - College of Business and Technology

(As Dr. Hipple reports the Tri-Cities labor market continues to implode.)

Depending upon the data source, we have either a negative view or a positive view of regional labor market performance. The negative view shows employment declining, and is based on data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) which is the source of the labor market data used in the tables in this report.

The positive view shows employment increasing, and is based on data from the Current Employment Survey (CES) which is the source of employment data by NAICS industry sector for the metro area, and also shows total metro payroll employment.

First the CPS negative view. Labor market trends remained unchanged in the Tri-Cities Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA) in the fourth quarter. Compared to the same period in 2013, regional employment was lower by 0.9% to 219,562, while unemployment fell 16.0% to 14,051 as discouraged job seekers continued to abandon the regional labor force.

The unemployment rate for the metro area was 6.0% (compared to 7.0% a year earlier). With the labor force shrinking by 2.0%, the falling jobless rate is a sign of labor market weakness.

The CPS annual data for 2014 reflect the ongoing decline in metro labor market conditions. Employment decreased by 0.9% to 220,463, well below the figures for 2010 and 2011. The number of jobless workers fell 15.6% to 15,459, pushing the unemployment rate down to 6.6%. Both these factors resulted in the labor force shrinking by 2.1% to 235,922.

(Which is it?)

Second, the positive view. According to the CES data, total payroll employment in the metro area has been increasing. In the fourth quarter, among the twelve regional NAICS industry sectors, employment levels were higher in six and lower in six (compared to six and six in the third quarter).

Job growth was led by construction, leisure & hospitality, professional & business services, transport & utilities, and education & health services. Job losses occurred in government, retail trade, other services, financial services, information services, and manufacturing.

(Again most of the losses in higher paying jobs.)

Based on CPS data, during the October to December period, employment declined again in all three cities - falling 1.5% in Johnson City, 1.1% in Kingsport, and 0.2% in Bristol. Matching the regional pattern, large numbers of unemployed workers continued to exit the labor market in each city. This has lowered the jobless counts, contracted the labor force, and reduced the unemployment rates.

The percent of workers unemployed was 5.8% in Bristol, 6.0% in Johnson City, and 6.1% in Kingsport. As in the metro area, the lower rates in each city reflect labor market weakness. The 2014 annual data for each city reflects the regional trends, with falling employment and unemployment resulting in a drop in the labor force numbers as well.

March Payroll Jobs Report April 3, 2015 by Paul Craig Roberts

With the Atlanta Fed's GDP forecast reduced to 0.2 percent growth in the first quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was unable to come up with another high payroll jobs report.

Another orchestration couldn't pass muster. Consequently March's payroll jobs fell away to 126,000, less than half of recent reports and insufficient to maintain pace with population growth.

I don't believe the 126,000 jobs, but let's take them at face value and again ask: Where are the jobs?

One fifth of them are in retail trade. So with real retail sales declining and retail stores closing, the suffering businesses went out and hired 26,000 new employees last month.

The rest of the jobs are in the usual places: ambulatory health care services, employment services, and waitresses and bartenders. This is super-economy America. Clearly there is no basis in anything real for the Dow Jones average.

The Vast Bulk of the Unemployed Are Not Counted April 3, 2015 Cite

The US government gets a low unemployment rate by not counting the unemployed...in March the number of people who dropped out of the labor force rose by yet another 277K, up 2.1 million in the past year, and has reached a record 93.175 million.

Indicatively, this means that the labor force participation rate dropped once more, from 62.8% to 62.7%, a level seen back in February 1978, even as the BLS reported that the entire labor force actually declined for the second consecutive month, down almost 100K in March to 156,906.

Why is this important? Because as long as the true employment rate, that of the civilian employment to total population, remains at depression levels, there will be no increases in average hourly earnings.

To summarize: The falling unemployment rates in Tri-Cities Bristol and vast swaths of America are simply workers leaving the workforce.