AUSTIN – The Austin-Round Rock MSA* unemployment rate reversed course in January after months of steadily decreasing, but remains close to pre-pandemic levels.
Austin metro unemployment rose from 2.9% in December 2021 to 3.3%** in January 2022, representing 44,483 unemployed residents, according to updated data released today from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Notably, the unemployment data released today are not adjusted for seasonal patterns.
- The Austin metro unemployment rate remained below Texas (4.8%) and national (4.4%) rates.
- According to TWC, the Austin metro lost 19,600 jobs from December 2021 to January 2021. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of 8.3%, representing the collective gain of 92,300 jobs since January 2021.
- Further, TWC reports unemployment in the Capital Area/Travis County*** region rose from 2.8% in December 2021 to 3.3% in January 2021, representing 25,690 unemployed residents.
- Of note: February unemployment data is scheduled to be released by TWC on Friday, March 25.
Despite the positive trends seen since the pandemic first struck the region in March 2020, the local labor market remains tight. Many employers still struggle with filling job openings.
“The Austin economy is hot, which is a good thing for workers with in-demand skills,” says Tamara Atkinson, CEO at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “But our labor market woes mirror the national picture. Employer demand for skilled workers exceeds the skilled talent supply.”
There were over 51,000 unfilled online job postings in the Austin metro as of January 2022, compared to the roughly 44,000 unemployed workers, according to Burning Glass Labor Insight. The majority of unemployed workers have less than an associate’s degree as their highest degree attainment.
“We see a mismatch between the education levels of unemployed residents and the jobs available,” said Atkinson. “Workforce Solutions is investing in growing our own talent — right here at home.”
January Job Growth/Losses by Industry in the Austin-Round Rock MSA:
- Monthly Increases: Information (400) is the only industry that experienced an increase in regional job growth from December to January.
- Monthly Decreases: Industries that experienced significant monthly job losses include Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-4,000), Leisure and Hospitality (-3,300), and Mining, Logging, & Transportation (-3,200).
- Other industries that experienced monthly job losses includeProfessional & Business Services (-2,700), Financial Activities (-2,600), and Education & Health Services (-2,500).
- Annual Increases: Leisure & Hospitality experienced the greatest regional job growth over the last 12 months with an increase of 19.2%, followed by Information (16%) and Professional & Business Services (15.5%).
- Other industries that experienced annual job growth include Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (7.4%), Manufacturing (6.2%), Other Services (5.7%), and Education & Health Services (5.3%).
- Annual Decreases: Government (-1.1%).
Upcoming hiring event
On March 17, Workforce Solutions is hosting the Austin Job Expo for job seekers to virtually explore career opportunities with local employers hiring immediately. Participating employers include Austin Community College, Austin-Travis County EMS, Miraval Austin Resort & Spa, the Office of the Governor, and more.
“Workforce Solutions continues to connect local people to local companies hiring now,” said Melanie Flowers, Board Chair for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “Whether you want a job now or need training for the job you want, we meet people where they are so they can return to the workforce and earn higher wages. We also offer child care scholarships for parents who are working or studying, along with tailored supports for local companies looking to grow their business.”
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.