AUSTIN – The Austin-area unemployment rate decreased in March 2021, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

TWC’s updated employment estimates released today say the Austin-Round Rock MSA* unemployment rate dropped from 5.6% in February 2021 to 5.3%** in March 2021, representing 67,445 unemployed residents.

  • The Austin metro’s unemployment rate remained below Texas (7.2%) and national (6.2%) rates.
  • According to TWC, the Austin metro added 14,700 jobs from February 2021 to March 2021. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of -1.3%, representing the collective loss of 14,700 jobs since March 2020.
  • Further, TWC reports unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis County*** region decreased from 5.6% in February 2021 to 5.3% in March 2021, or 40,236 unemployed residents.

According to job posting data from Burning Glass Labor Insight, there were 30,923 new job ads posted in the Austin metro in March 2021. This is 10,300 more than the month prior.

The Austin metro’s March unemployment rate is less than half the pandemic peak of about 12% experienced in April 2020. Since then, local unemployment has hovered in a monthly range of about 5% to 6%, roughly double pre-pandemic levels. According to TWC, the Austin metro’s unemployment rate was 2.6% in February 2020, then rose to 3.6% in March 2020 when the pandemic first struck the region.

“Our job market has significantly changed, and thousands of our neighbors are still feeling the pandemic’s effects,” said Tamara Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “However, Austin has one of the hottest job markets in the nation, and more opportunities are here and now.”

“Recovery is underway, and this means more jobs. But the jobs with long-term earning potential require skills,” said Atkinson. “We’re here to train residents for the jobs of today, and Workforce Solutions is the hub for connecting people to these jobs.”

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

  • Monthly Increases: Industries that experienced a significant increase in regional job growth from February to March include Leisure & Hospitality (5,800), Mining, Logging & Construction (2,800), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (1,800), Manufacturing (1,700), and Professional and Business Services (1,400).
    • Other industries that experienced increases include Education and Health Services (600), Government (200), and Information (200).
  • Monthly Decreases: Financial Activities (-100).
  • Annual Increases: Mining, Logging & Construction experienced the greatest regional job growth over the last 12 months with an increase of 5.7%, followed by Professional & Business Services (5.0%), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (3.5%), and Financial Activities (2.1%).
  • Annual Decreases: Industries that experienced a significant decrease in regional job growth over the last 12 months include Leisure & Hospitality (-15.5%), Other Services (-7.4%), and Education & Health Services (-6.4%).

Skills Training to Further Austin’s Recovery 

  • Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers rapid job training for several in-demand occupations in IT, skilled trades, manufacturing, and healthcare through RE:WorkNOW.
  • The Certified Production Technician Training program —offered through RE:WorkNOW — is a 100% virtual, safe, no-cost training coordinated by the Central Texas Manufacturing Partnership. Eligible students take online classes with Austin Community College or Skillpoint Alliance with an optional component held in-person safely.
    • Upon completion, graduates receive a nationally recognized certification that demonstrates to employers that they have the knowledge and skills needed for a manufacturing assembly job.
    • Workforce Solutions assists graduates to find work with one of the many local companies in this high-demand industry, including Samsung Austin Semiconductor. Entry-level technicians can expect to earn $15-20 an hour with opportunities for advancement and further training.
    • The next training is scheduled for April 26 – June 4 (Mon – Fri; virtual) with Skillpoint Alliance.

“Many residents continue to face stress and uncertainty caused by layoffs and shutdowns, but more and more jobs are becoming available — if you have the skills,” said Melanie Flowers, Chair of the Board of Directors for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “We are here to assist companies that are hiring with retention and recruiting, as well as upgrading our residents’ skill sets to make them eligible for higher-skilled, higher-paying roles. Doing this strengthens our region’s employment ecosystem and benefits all residents.”

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 other 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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