Austin Chamber of Commerce – Blog: Job Growth and Unemployment

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Non-agricultural salaried jobs

Austin’s total non-farm jobs in September were 1,159,100 according to Friday’s releases of monthly labor market data by the Texas Workforce Commission and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February 2020, before the impacts of COVID-19, Austin had approximately 1,142,400 jobs. Combining job losses for March and April 2020, Austin has lost 137,000 jobs, or 12.0%. In August, Austin surpassed the total number of jobs it had in the last month before the pandemic and added 12,900 exceptional jobs in September. That’s not to say Austin has regained the lost jobs. Growth was driven by eight industries which in total created 39,100 jobs, while four industries have 22,400 fewer jobs than in February 2020.

Last month, Austin and three other major metropolises had surpassed the number of jobs they had before the pandemic. This month, six of the top 50 subways returned to their pre-pandemic employment levels. Comparing the subways according to their situation compared to February 2020 before the pandemic, Austin, up 1.5%, is the second best performing major metro. Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth are also in the top 10. Houston (-3.6%) ranks 25th. New York ranks 50th with jobs in September 2021 8.5% below February 2020.

Texas has 90,200 jobs, or 0.7% less than February 2020, and the United States, nearly 3.3 million jobs, or 2.2% less. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predicts Texas will reach 13 million jobs by December, which means Texas could regain its pandemic-related job losses this year.

Austin’s year-over-year increase of 7.4%, or 79,700 jobs, makes it the second-best performer among the 50 largest metropolitan areas. Fort Worth (5.5%), Dallas (5.4%), San Antonio (5.2%) and Houston (5.1%) rank 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.

For the year ending September, private sector job growth in the Austin MSA is 8.9%, or 79,200 jobs, with gains in all major sectors of private industry. . Austin’s large government sector (17% of jobs) grew only 0.3% (500 jobs), bringing the overall year-over-year employment growth rate to 7, 4%.

Texas saw net private sector employment growth of 6.9%, with all private industry sectors adding jobs in the past 12 months. Total employment growth was 6.0% while the public sector, which accounts for 15% of total state employment, experienced moderate growth of 1.0%. For the nation, private sector job growth was 4.7% for the 12 months ending in September, with all private industries adding jobs. Overall employment growth was weaker at 4.0%, while public sector jobs increased only 0.5%.

Jobs in September were up 12,900 or 1.1% from August in the unadjusted series for Austin. In the seasonally adjusted series, jobs increased 11,900 or 1.0%. Seasonally adjusted jobs increased 1.8% in Fort Worth, 1.3% in San Antonio, 0.7% in Houston and 0.4% in Dallas. Statewide, seasonally adjusted jobs are up 95,800 or 0.8%. Nationally, seasonally adjusted jobs are up from August of 194,000 or 0.1%.

In Austin, all sectors of private industry added jobs in the past 12 months, including leisure and hospitality (23.6% or 23,900 jobs) and professional and business services (11.4% or 22,900). Wholesale trade and transportation, warehousing and utilities each grew by more than 8% (adding 4,300 and 2,300 jobs, respectively). The slowest growing industry, based on the percentage change from September 2020, is construction and natural resources, which are up 3.3%.

Eight private industries in Austin outpaced employment before the pandemic, and three have yet to regain losses from March and April 2020. Leisure and hospitality shed 61,500 jobs in March and April of last year ( 45% of all jobs lost). With positive growth in 13 of the past 17 months, the industry has reclaimed 52,500 of these jobs (34% of all jobs created in the 17 months). In September, the number of jobs stood at 125,300, 6.7% less than in February 2020. This is fewer jobs than the industry four years ago. The other two private industries that did not return to the employment level of February 2020 are education and health services (less than 3.0%) and other services (less than 7.4%).

Additional graphics: New / lost jobs by industry, Aug-Sept. Trend 2021 and 2000-21 for six large industries and six small industries

Statewide, over the past 12 months all private industries have added jobs. As in Austin, the two fastest growing sectors are leisure and hospitality (14.6%) and professional and business services (10.8%). Only five industries currently have more jobs than they did in February 2020, including transportation, warehousing and utilities, which are up 8.8%. Professional and business services, financials, retail and wholesale trade also regained losses from last year.

Nationally, all private industries created jobs in the 12 months ending September, led by recreation and hospitality (14.6%) and transportation, warehousing and utilities ( 6.2%). Compared to February 2020, only construction and natural resources; transport, storage and utilities; financial activities; and professional and business services have recovered from job losses linked to the pandemic.

Over the past 12 months, the net gain for private service industries in Austin is 73,700 jobs, or 9.7%. Employment in goods-producing industries increased by 5,500 jobs or 4.2%. Statewide, private service industries are up 624,500 or 7.4%, and goods-producing industries are up 78,900 or 4.5%.

Labor force, employment and unemployment

We also now have September labor, employment and unemployment figures for Texas and local areas of Texas. The same data for all US subways will not be released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics until November 3. In August, Austin had the eighth lowest unemployment rate among the 50 largest subways. In major metropolitan areas in Texas, the seasonally adjusted September rates are unchanged or improved from August by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points.

In September, Austin’s unadjusted seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, while other major metropolitan areas in Texas range from 4.3% in Dallas to 5.5% in Houston. San Antonio and Fort Worth are 4.5%. Austin’s rate a year ago was 6.2%. Fares in Texas’ other major subways are reduced by 2.8 to 3.9 percentage points from a year ago. The statewide rate is now 4.9%, down from 8.0% in September last year. The national unemployment rate is also 4.6%, down from 7.7% a year ago.

In 2019, the unemployment rate averaged 2.7% in Austin, 3.5% in Texas, and 3.7% nationally.

Within the Austin MSA, Travis and Williamson counties had the lowest unemployment rates at 3.5% in September, while Caldwell County had the highest at 4.1%. The rate is 3.7% in Bastrop County and 3.8% in Hays County.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Austin’s unemployment rate for September is 3.7%, unchanged from August. The statewide rate is 5.6%, up from 5.9%, and the national rate is 4.8%, up from 5.4% in August.

Among the other large metropolises in Texas, Dallas has the second lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, 4.6%, in September, while Fort Worth and San Antonio are at 4.7% and Houston’s rate is 5, 8%. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Texas subways are produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. (The Texas Workforce Commission also produces seasonally adjusted fares for Texas subways, but the release lags behind data from the Dallas Fed.)

In February 2020, before the impacts of the pandemic, the number of unemployed in Austin was 33,307. The number soared to 138,731 in April and also topped 100,000 in May and June. In September 2021, the number of unemployed rose to 45,968, 38% above the level of February 2020.

Austin Metro’s civilian workforce (employed and unemployed) decreased by 99,547 people or 7.8% in March and April 2020, while employed people decreased by 204,971 or 16.5% . The working population is now 2.6% above what it was in February 2020 and employment is estimated at 1.7% above. Over the past month, the labor force increased by 0.9% and employment by 1.2%.

Additional graphics – Workforce & employment: Texas and United States

Texas’ workforce is 8,347 or 0.1% lower than it was before the February 2020 pandemic, while employment is 212,020 or 1.5% lower. Thus, the number of unemployed is up by 203,673 or 41%. Nationally, the civilian workforce for September 2021 is down 2.8 million or 1.7% from February 2020, while employment is about 4.0 million or 2 lower. , 5% at the level observed in February 2020, and an additional 1.1 million people (18%) are unemployed.

The Texas Workforce Commission and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the October estimates on November 19.

that of the House Economic indicators page provides up-to-date historical spreadsheet versions of Austin, Texas, and United States data for Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data discussed above.


This press release was produced by the Austin Chamber of Commerce – Blog. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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