Austin #1 job growth in America since the start of pandemic

 By BEVERLY KERR, Austin Chamber

  • Austin added 70,900 jobs, a growth of 6.0%, in the 12 months ending in July, making it the seventh best performing among the top 50 metros.
  • Austin made up all of 2020’s pandemic-related job losses by May 2021 and the metro ranks first for job growth since February 2020.
  • Austin’s leisure and hospitality industry added a moderate 700 jobs in July, following an extraordinary 5,700 jobs in June. Employment now surpasses pre-pandemic February 2020 by 8,000 jobs or 6.0%.
  • Austin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 2.9% in July, unchanged from June.

As of July 2022, 33 of the top 50 metropolitan areas (66%) have regained their pre-pandemic level of jobs. Comparing metros based on where they stand relative to pre-pandemic February 2020, Austin, up 9.1%, is the best performing major metro. Dallas (8.5%) and Fort Worth (4.9%) are also in the top 10. San Antonio (2.8%) ranks 13th, while Houston (2.3%) ranks 15th. Philadelphia ranks 50th with July 2022 jobs 3.6% below February 2020.

Austin’s year-over-year increase of 6.0%, or 70,900 jobs, makes it the seventh best performing among the 50 largest metro areas. Dallas is No. 1 with 7.7% growth and Houston and Fort Worth, with 6.1% growth are also in the top 10. San Antonio (4.4%) ranks 26th.

Texas saw net private sector job growth of 6.8% with all private industry sectors adding jobs over the last 12 months. Total job growth was 5.8% as the government sector, which accounts for 15.5% of total state employment, grew by only 0.5%. For the nation, private sector job growth was 4.5% for the 12 months ending in July with all private industries adding jobs. Overall job growth was lower, at 4.0%, as the government sector jobs grew by a moderate 0.8%. In Austin, 10 of the 11 major private industry sectors added jobs over the last 12 months, most notably leisure and hospitality (13.3% or 16,700 jobs); professional and business services (10.6% or 25,300); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (9.8% or 2,800). Only construction and natural resources lost jobs (2.1% or 1,600 jobs). Within the Austin MSA, Travis County has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.0% in July, while Caldwell County has the highest at 3.9%. The rate is 3.1% in Williamson County, 3.2% in Hays County, and 3.7% in Bastrop County.