AUSTIN – The Austin-Round Rock MSA* unemployment rate dropped slightly from 3.5% in September 2021 to 3.4%** in October 2021, representing 44,568 unemployed residents, according to data released today from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

  • The Austin metro unemployment rate remained below Texas (4.8%) and national (4.3%) rates.
  • According to TWC, the Austin metro added 18,300 jobs from September 2021 to October 2021. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of 7.0%, representing the collective gain of 77,300 jobs since October 2020.
  • Further, TWC reports unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis County*** region dropped from 3.5% in September 2021 to 3.3% in October 2021, representing 25,989 unemployed residents.
  • Note: The unemployment rate measures the share of workers in the labor force who do not currently have a job but are actively looking for work. It does not include residents who have exited the labor force and are not currently seeking employment.

“The pace of Austin’s job growth proves we live in one of the most resilient economies in the nation,” said Tamara Atkinson, CEO at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “There is a demand for skilled labor. Those who benefit most from these job opportunities and financial gains are higher-skilled workers in our region’s top-performing sectors.”

Meanwhile, workers with less education have felt the brunt of economic damage since the pandemic downturn. According to a recent Workforce Solutions Capital Area report, 69% of the more than 158,000 unemployment benefits claimants in Travis County since March 2020 have less than an associate’s degree.

“As the local workforce development board, our goal is that all Austinites succeed and prosper,” Atkinson said. “Whether it’s helping a job seeker find work now or get more skills training, we’re with you every step of the way. All you have to do is contact us to get started.”

October Job Growth/Losses by Industry in the Austin-Round Rock MSA:

  • Monthly Increases: Industries that experienced a significant increase in regional job growth from September to October include Professional & Business Services (5,800), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (4,000), Government (3,000), and Financial Activities (2,200).
    • Other industries that experienced month-to-month job growth include Education & Health Services (1,300) and Leisure & Hospitality (1,000).
  • Monthly Decreases: Mining, Logging & Construction (-300).
  • Annual Increases: Leisure & Hospitality experienced the greatest regional job growth over the last 12 months with an increase of 19.8%, followed by Professional and Business Services (12.7%), and Financial Activities (8.9%).
    • Other industries that experienced annual job growth include Trade, Transportation & Utilities (7.4%), Information (6.8%), and Other Services (6.7%).
  • Annual Decreases: No industries have experienced an annual decrease in regional job growth.

Apprenticeships as a strategy to fill talent gaps

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week, from Nov. 15-21, celebrates the role of apprenticeship in helping workers earn while they learn and fill critical positions in the workforce.

To help address an exacerbated skilled healthcare worker shortage amid an ongoing public health crisis, TWC has awarded $540,000 in ApprenticeshipTexas Expansion grants to Workforce Solutions Capital Area. The workforce board is joining Austin Community College and Innovative Workforce Projects to expand registered apprenticeship programs for in-demand healthcare jobs such as medical assistant, patient care technician, and more. Collaborating employers include St. David’s Healthcare, Baylor Scott & White Health, and Austin Regional Clinic.

“Our earn-and-learn pathways allow people to get a paycheck while they train on the job and earn their recognized credential,” said Melanie Flowers, Board Chair for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “For residents with barriers to traditional education, these career certifications can unlock better pay and upward mobility.”

To learn how you can achieve a healthcare certification at no cost, click here.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s three career centers across Austin are available by phone, email, or in-person to serve residents and businesses impacted by economic changes caused by COVID-19.

Residents seeking assistance can contact us at 512.549.4967 or visit to learn about our many services and resources for job seekers, employers, parents, and students.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board is the publicly-funded workforce board for Austin-Travis County. Through strong partnerships and strategic collaborations, Workforce Solutions is leading the region’s workforce system in the development of a world-class workforce.


*The Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties.

**Unemployment rates listed are not seasonally adjusted.

***The Capital Area Workforce Development Area includes Travis County.

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