To combat persistent vacancies across city departments, Austin announced the launch of a new six-month hiring campaign designed to spur recruitment beginning Feb. 1.

Austin’s staffing crisis has affected departments from parks to police in recent years, and like many other city governments and businesses, the situation was driven to a higher level amid the pandemic. The issue of employee recruitment and retention was highlighted by both City Manager Spencer Cronk and City Council throughout last year including during civic budget planning; Cronk’s proposed spending plan gave government workers raises and stipends, and council members went on to raise Austin’s minimum wage to $20 per hour.

Now, the city is beginning what it called Austin’s largest-ever public information campaign in an attempt to draw Central Texas residents to fill the hundreds vacant positions still remaining. Backed by its human resources department and public information office, the city said messaging will be centered around a new slogan: “Get Hired! It’s more than just a job. Find a career with the City of Austin.”

Although Austin is still seeing widespread vacancies, the campaign comes after the city reported signs that last year’s living wage hike likely has led to some improved hiring results so far. Despite those trends, the city said the new campaign will roll out given that staffing is expected to remain an issue through 2023.

“While we’ve made progress in filling positions in recent months, we know there’s more work to do,” Cronk said in a statement. “With departments intensifying their efforts to fill vacancies and our new citywide hiring campaign ready to launch, we’ll continue to do everything we can to recruit and retain talented people to deliver the services our community expects.”

A city spokesperson said in December that applications for open job postings jumped 43.67% between last September and October, when the $20 hourly wage went into effect. And between late September and mid-January, the city reported a 7% drop in overall vacancies including 8% in public safety departments.

In addition to the public information campaign, the city said each of its departments is also taking on several internal strategies in an attempt to further reduce vacancies.

More information on city employment opportunities is available at