AUSTIN – The Austin-Round Rock MSA* unemployment dropped from 3.2% in November 2021 to 2.9%** in December 2021, representing 38,652 unemployed residents, according to data released today from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
- The Austin metro unemployment rate remained below Texas (4.3%) and national (3.7%) rates.
- According to TWC, the Austin metro added 2,700 jobs from November 2021 to December 2021. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of 7.3%, representing the collective gain of 80,600 jobs since December 2020.
- Further, TWC reports unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis County*** region dropped from 3.1% in November 2021 to 2.8% in December 2021, representing 22,433 unemployed residents.
The Austin region has proven to be one of the most resilient economies in the country during the pandemic, with a tightening labor market and growing demand from employers for workers, Workforce Solutions Capital Area has found.
“Although the Omicron variant clouds the recovery’s path and the labor market remains tight, Austin is nearing pre-pandemic unemployment levels, and job growth is booming,” said Tamara Atkinson, CEO at Workforce Solutions Capital Area.
However, Workforce Solutions data shows that inequities in the workforce have become exacerbated by the pandemic.
According to Workforce Solutions, nearly 70 percent of unemployment benefits claimants in Travis County since March 2020 have less than an associate’s degree, and those claimants are disproportionately people of color.
“While high-skill workers in our region’s most in-demand sectors have enjoyed a wealth of job opportunities and financial gains, even amid COVID, these advantages have not been experienced by everyone in our community, particularly those with less education and people of color,” said Atkinson.
“Upskilling continues to be a focus of Workforce Solutions and our community to address equity and affordability gaps. In today’s job market, we see that workers earn what they learn, reinforcing the importance of acquiring higher skills to earn higher wages.”
December Job Growth/Losses by Industry in the Austin-Round Rock MSA:
- Monthly Increases: Industries that experienced a significant increase in regional job growth from November to December include Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (5,000) and Manufacturing (1,600).
- Monthly Decreases: Professional & Business Services (-2,200), Leisure & Hospitality (-1,800), and Other Services (-1,200).
- Annual Increases: Leisure & Hospitality experienced the greatest regional job growth over the last 12 months with an increase of 17.8%, followed by Professional and Business Services (10.8%) and Financial Activities (8.8%).
- Other industries that experienced annual job growth include Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (8.3%), Education & Health Services (7.4%), and Information (7.2%).
- Annual Decreases: Mining, Logging, & Construction (-0.8%).
Upcoming hiring event
On February 2, Workforce Solutions is hosting its Manufacturing Showcase for job seekers to connect with manufacturers hiring now all over Austin for roles in fabrication, maintenance, admin, engineering and more. Attendees can also learn about the Tesla Start Program at Austin Community College and how they may be eligible for a full training scholarship with Skillpoint Alliance.
“Employers remain hungry for workers with the right skills, especially in high-demand industries like manufacturing, tech, healthcare, and skilled trades,” said Melanie Flowers, Board Chair for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “Workforce Solutions Capital Area continues to engage people safely to offer job search support and training, child care assistance, and much more to strengthen opportunities for families in Travis County.”
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 wfscapitalarea.com 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.