AUSTIN – The Austin-area unemployment rate decreased in May 2021, marking three consecutive months the regional rate has dropped, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

TWC’s updated employment estimates released today say the Austin-Round Rock MSA* unemployment rate dropped from 4.5% in April 2021 to 4.2%** in May 2021, representing 54,040 unemployed residents.

  • The Austin metro’s unemployment rate remained below Texas (5.9%) and national (5.5%) rates.
  • According to TWC, the Austin metro added 4,500 jobs from April 2021 to May 2021. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of 9.6%, representing the collective gain of 98,900 jobs since May 2020.
    • Comparing May 2021 to pre-pandemic February 2020, Austin metro job growth is at a 1.1% deficit, representing the collective loss of 12,600 jobs.
  • Further, TWC reports unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis County*** region decreased from 4.6% in April 2021 to 4.2% in May 2021, or 32,011 unemployed residents.

According to job posting data from Burning Glass Labor Insight, employers posted 32,738 new job ads in the Austin MSA in May 2021. This is almost double the 18,926 job ads in May 2020.

“Businesses are demanding more workers as Austin’s recovery continues, and workers with strong skill sets in particular,” said Tamara Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions Capital area. “We have seen that workers earn what they learn. Employers are willing to pay for workers with the right skills.

“Many residents motivated to take these positions lack the skills required, so Workforce Solutions is here to act as the hub for training and connecting people to these jobs.”

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

  • Monthly Increases: Industries that experienced a significant increase in regional job growth from April to May include Leisure & Hospitality (4,800), Professional and Business Services (2,200), Government (1,600), and Other Services (700).
  • Monthly Decreases: Education & Health Services (-1,800), Mining, Logging & Construction (-1,500), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-1,200), and Manufacturing (-600).
  • Annual Increases: Leisure & Hospitality experienced the greatest regional job growth over the last 12 months with an increase of 35.7%, followed by Other Services (18.5%), Professional & Business Services (12.2%), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (11.6%).
    • Other industries that experienced annual job growth include Information (7.9%), Mining, Logging & Construction (3.5%), and Manufacturing (3.4%).
  • Annual Decreases: No industries experienced a decrease in job growth from May 2020 to May 2021.

Texas Opts Out of Federal Pandemic Benefits

Governor Greg Abbott has announced that on June 26, 2021, Texas will stop participating in ARPA programs, including Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation Program (MEUC).

Workforce Solutions Capital Area will continue its work to support and connect local people to local jobs.Continued supports and services Workforce Solutions offers for businesses and job seekers include:

“Austinites who lost their jobs during the pandemic are returning to work and businesses reopening their doors are seeking more talent. Workforce Solutions is here to assist workers and employers to help make Austin-Travis County more prosperous,” said Melanie Flowers, Chair of the Board of Directors for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “People seeking immediate employment can come to Workforce Solutions for assistance finding jobs by industry, opportunities in career training and additional support like childcare and transportation.”

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.

NOTE: A previous version of this article noted the Capital Area/Travis County region’s unemployment was 4.5% in April 2021. In TWC’s latest data, the April rate was revised to 4.6%.


*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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