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Old 05-30-2015, 06:36 PM
 
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Is it? I know it went through a down turn for few years...
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,274 posts, read 21,192,463 times
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If you look at the metrics from the trough of the recession, absolutely.

However, it's not something you really see or feel. The area was heavily dependent on manufacturing and lost many manufacturing jobs before the recession of 2008-2009. Those jobs never really came back and those people likely either had to take lower paying jobs or leave the area.

What has come in the place of decent paying manufacturing and mining jobs (for southwest VA) has been an expansion of low end health care, retail trade, and food service, all generally low paying.

On a personal level, I know people who were laid off from King Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Quebecor (Kingsport Press), Valleydale, and Bristol Compressors, and almost all took steps backwards if they remained in the area. It is personally the worst labor market I've encountered anywhere.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:24 AM
 
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It would also be good to have someone from the area that actually lives in the area respond.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,697 posts, read 6,143,610 times
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Preliminary, non-seasonally adjusted numbers released Thursday from both the payroll and household surveys show strong job creation and employment growth compared to March and April last year. Unemployment rates in the area’s three major cities are at pre-recession lows.
Tri-Cities labor market shows strong April growth – jobless rates at pre-recession levels

Tri-Cities Labor Market Report for First Quarter 2015
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:19 PM
 
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So according to that its looking up...its looking more and more like we are moving to Tn but debating between Tri Cities or Oak Ridge/Knoxville area...I want Tri Cities personally.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
667 posts, read 821,004 times
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I think the area's economy as a whole is on a steady recovery but most of that recovery has been concentrated in Johnson City with a touch in Kingsport and Bristol. Unfortunately I don't see any large boost happening to the region's economy in the near-future. I feel like Eastman is committed to Kingsport with the construction of their new corporate headquarters but they really aren't adding jobs. Bristol is really not doing much of anything on the manufacturing side but seems to be going directly after the tourist dollars (The Pinnacle, Birthplace of County Music Museum, boutique hotels downtown). Johnson City has seen a surge in retail development lately and has a burgeoning downtown but has lacked job growth in the higher-paying corporate/medical sectors. I really think the MSHA/Wellmont merger will play out nicely for Johnson City and will bring a surge of good jobs. I also think the city is on the cusp of being able to attract some corporations to locate regional headquarters here.

What this region needs more than anything, however, is cooperation and collaboration among the local governments. Unfortunately this seems like a lot cause among the three big cities. Especially between Johnson City and Kingsport as each seem to want to be the principal city in the region (Kingsport desperately so). What seems more likely to happen is the two metros join work on collaborative efforts within their respective counties. This is already happening to some extent with Sullivan and Hawkins counties. The Washington County Economic Development Council is exploring the ideas of partnering with Carter and Unicoi counties on economic development but I think there is some push back. Many in Carter and Unicoi counties still believe they can compete and go toe-to-toe with Washington County in industrial recruitment and economic development. It's a shame really because Elizabethton and Erwin refuse to acknowledge what they are (basically bedroom cities or suburbs/exurbs) of Johnson City and make the most of this. They instead try to compete with JC/Washington County to the detriment of their own economies.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:40 AM
 
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Kingsport and Bristol took a major wallup from SW Va losing like 30,000 coal related jobs that won't be coming back. Retail and service trade jobs in those cities haven't come back, as much of it was based on Sw Va spending. Add manufacturing job losses on top of that, and its rather miraculous Kingsport and Bristol aren't worse off.

Johnson City is further removed from SW Va, and has more university and government positions, so its economically more insular.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourwinds View Post
Kingsport and Bristol took a major wallup from SW Va losing like 30,000 coal related jobs that won't be coming back. Retail and service trade jobs in those cities haven't come back, as much of it was based on Sw Va spending. Add manufacturing job losses on top of that, and its rather miraculous Kingsport and Bristol aren't worse off.

Johnson City is further removed from SW Va, and has more university and government positions, so its economically more insular.
Looks like the coal industry in SW VA shed about 8,500 jobs between 1990-2014, which led to an estimated total loss of about 20,000 jobs:

“There were around 12,000 coal mining jobs in the region just 25 years ago,” said Evans. “However, there has been a persistent decline in coal production and jobs over the past quarter century. The down trend was somewhat arrested during the 2010 through mid – 2012 period, but recent data show renewed losses in coal mining jobs over the past two years. The latest available jobs data as reported by the Virginia Employment Commission show that coal mining jobs during the second quarter of 2014 fell to around 3,500, a loss of 1,400 jobs since 2012.”

...“Each coal mining job supports an additional 1.3136 jobs in all other sectors of the region’s economy."

King University News: New King University Study Suggests Manufacturing Offers Best Hope to Rebuild Southwest Virginia Economic Base; Economic Impact of Tourism also Analyzed

However, Kingsport's retail sales growth rate has surpassed JC's for 5 consecutive years, while Bristol's retail sales bounced back pretty strongly last year and should continue to do well w/ The Pinnacle & The Falls.
Tri-Cities Retail Sales Report Fourth Quarter 2014
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:13 PM
 
6,503 posts, read 7,495,251 times
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I will dig out the figures, but coal mining jobs in general are lower wage, higher risk, and have a lot less downstream job creation than do other forms of energy production--you know, the ones that Alexander and Corker called "fads" like wind and solar.

Coal, alas, is also a horribly dirty product at a time when mother earth can ill afford additional pollution.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Jonesborough, TN
690 posts, read 1,272,408 times
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Coal mining jobs are generally good paying jobs. From what I hear, the problem is finding someone willing to do the job who can also pass a drug test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
I will dig out the figures, but coal mining jobs in general are lower wage, higher risk, and have a lot less downstream job creation than do other forms of energy production--you know, the ones that Alexander and Corker called "fads" like wind and solar.

Coal, alas, is also a horribly dirty product at a time when mother earth can ill afford additional pollution.
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