Just in: Austin city’s unemployment rate dropped again in September, and the ATX continues to boast one the lowest unemployment rates among the top 25 largest U.S. cities.

  • Austin holds the No. 2 spot in the updated ranking. The city has been in the top five each month going back to January 2020.

Based on the latest preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Austin’s unemployment rate is 3.3% as of September 2021 (in August, it was 3.5%).

  • Ahead of Austin (3.3%) is Nashville (3.1%). Behind Austin is Seattle (3.7%), Charlotte (3.9%), and Jacksonville and San Francisco (4.1%).
  • Where other Texas cities rank: San Antonio is No. 10 (4.5%), Dallas and Fort Worth are tied for No. 12 (4.8%), El Paso is No. 14 (5.1%), and Houston is tied for No. 16 (5.5%).

Of note: The city’s unemployment rate fell in line with the Austin metro’s rate. The metro rate dipped from 3.8% in August to 3.5% in September.

Takeaways from the ground: High-skill workers in our region’s most in-demand sectors have enjoyed a wealth of job opportunities and financial gains, even amid COVID. But these advantages have not been experienced by everyone in our community, particularly those who have lower income and less education.

  • So that everyone can compete in Austin’s labor market, WFS is behind the Hire Local Plan (the next version of the Austin metro Community Workforce Plan). Its goal is to improve economically disadvantaged residents’ access to better economic opportunities through skills training.
  • We’re gathering feedback from the community to ensure the plan is inclusive and collaborative and meets our goals.


The top 25 largest U.S. cities with the lowest unemployment rates are:

1. Nashville, TN (3.1)
2. Austin, TX (3.3%)
3. Seattle, WA (3.7)
4. Charlotte, NC (3.9)
T-5. Jacksonville, FL (4.1)
T-5. San Francisco, CA (4.1)
7. Phoenix, AZ (4.2)
8. Indianapolis, IN (4.3)
9. San Jose, CA (4.4)
10. San Antonio, TX (4.5)
11. Columbus, OH (4.7)
T-12. Dallas, TX (4.8)
T-12. Fort Worth, TX (4.8)
14. El Paso, TX (5.1)
15. San Diego, CA (5.3)
T-16. Houston, TX (5.5)
T-16. Boston, MA (5.5)
18. Washington, DC (5.9)
19. Memphis, TN (6.3)
20. Detroit, MI (6.6)
21. Baltimore, MD (7.3)
22. Chicago, IL (7.5)
23. Philadelphia, PA (8.1)
24. Los Angeles, CA (8.2)
25. New York, NY (8.9)

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