Austin has regained all but 300 of last spring’s pandemic-related job losses, Chamber says


In Austin, all private industry sectors added jobs over the last 12 months.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin is seeing some major jobs recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic hit nearly every industry last spring, according to new stats from the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber said that Austin’s nonfarm payroll jobs total as of July 2021 is 1,142,100. In February 2020, before the impacts of the pandemic, Austin had an estimated 1,142,400 jobs. Combining job losses for March and April 2020, the city lost 137,000 jobs or 12% – but by adding jobs in 14 of the last 15 months, Austin has regained all but 300 of those spring 2020 pandemic-related job losses.

Comparing metro areas based on where they stand compared to February 2020, Austin’s 0.03% deficit makes it the second-best performing major metro. Dallas and San Antonio are also in the top 10.

Austin also ranks among the best-performing metro areas when it comes to its year-over-year increase. Austin saw a year-over-year change of 7.6%, or 81,000 jobs, making it the fourth-best performing of the 50 largest metro areas. Dallas also ranks in the top 10.

The Chamber said that for the year ending in July, private sector job growth in the Austin metro is 9.4%, or 82,700 jobs, with gains across all major private sectors. But Austin’s government sector – which makes up 17% of jobs – is down by 0.9% (1,600 jobs), bringing the overall year-over-year job growth rate to 7.6%.

The Chamber said that jobs in July 2021 are up by 5,600 jobs, or 0.5%, from June in the not-seasonally-adjusted series for Austin. In the seasonally adjusted series, jobs increased by 13,700, or 1.2%.

In Austin, all private industry sectors added jobs over the last 12 months. Eight private industries in Austin have surpassed pre-pandemic employment and three have yet to regain March and April 2020’s losses, the Chamber said.

Austin’s leisure and hospitality industry was especially hit hard by the pandemic, losing 61,500 jobs in March and April 2020 (45% of all jobs lost). But with positive growth in 12 of the last 15 months, the industry has regained 52,600 of those jobs.

The Chamber said over the last 12 months, the net gain for private service-providing industries in Austin is 10.6% and employment in goods-producing industries is up by 2.5%.

In July, Austin’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was at 4.2%. Austin’s rate one year ago was 7.8%. The statewide rate is now 6.0%, down from 9.6% in July 2020, and the national unemployment rate is 5.7%, down from 10.5% a year ago.

The Chamber reports that in 2019, the unemployment rate averaged 2.7% in Austin, 3.5% in Texas and 3.7% nationally.

Travis County had the lowest unemployment rate in the Austin area in July 2021 at 4.1%. Caldwell County had the highest at 5.3%. The rates were 4.2% in Williamson County, 4.4% in Hays County and 4.9% in Bastrop County.

The Chamber said Austin’s seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate was 4.0%, down from 4.4% in June. The statewide rate is 6.2%, down from 6.5%, and the national rate is 5.4%, down from 5.9% in June.

In February 2020, the number of unemployed workers in Austin was 33,307, according to the Chamber. The number climbed to 138,731 in April and also exceeded 100,000 in May and June. In July 2021, the number of unemployed stands at 54,605.

For more jobs numbers, check out the Chamber’s full report.

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