Travis County unemployment falls to 6.9% in July, marks consecutive months of single-digit jobless rate

The Travis County area saw its jobless rate slip below 7% in July. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Travis County area saw its jobless rate slip below 7% in July. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Travis County area saw its jobless rate slip below 7% in July. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Although still gripped by the pandemic, the local economy is showing signs of recovery. The Austin-Travis County area posted a 6.9% unemployment rate in July, a drop from the 7.5% jobless rate in June, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

After seeing historically low unemployment numbers—2.6% in February—the pandemic propelled the Austin-Travis County area to a 12.4% unemployment rate in April, only falling slightly to 11.6% in May before dropping to single digits in June.

The Austin metro is faring slightly better, as the Texas Workforce Commission reported a 6.7% jobless rate for July. The state and national unemployment numbers run higher at 8.2% and 10.5%, respectively. Travis County’s 6.9% rate represents 50,485 residents who applied for unemployment benefits through July.

July marked the end of the federal government’s additional $600 per week for unemployed Americans, a benefit economists have said helped fight off poverty numbers from skyrocketing through the economic downturn of the pandemic.

The Austin metro saw 9,245 new jobless claims in July, a number which decreased week by week. The area has seen an annual growth rate of -4% since July 2019, according to the TWC, with 44,800 total jobs lost.


“With the decrease in new claims, we’re hopeful that pandemic-related layoffs are tapering off,” said Tamara Atkinson, the CEO of Workforce Solution Capital Area, the local arm of the Texas Workforce Commission. “However, while [the Austin metro’s] unemployment rate is lower than at the pandemic’s beginning, it remains 2.5 times higher than the 2.8% rate in July 2019."
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


MOST RECENT

Photo of two people preparing vaccine vials
Austin Public Health: herd immunity could be in sight

Around 70% of Travis County residents currently have some antibody protection from COVID-19.

Rendering of a condo building
Luxury condos moving into former HOPE Outdoor Gallery space

The project's developer is partnering with the gallery to preserve and relocate the site's artwork.

Austin's phased process for moving people experiencing homelessness out of unregulated encampments will roll out through the summer. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials detail homeless education and enforcement plan with Proposition B ordinances now in effect

The process that will eventually remove the city's homeless encampment begins this month with outreach and warnings and will stretch until late summer with full enforcement.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Under the city of Austin's phased enforcement plan released May 10, citations at public encampments will begin in mid-June to be followed by arrests and clearances in July as necessary. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's homeless ordinances back on books May 11, but arrests, camp clearings won't start until July

Austin announced a "phased process" to introduce Proposition B ordinances beginning with one month of outreach followed by one month of warnings and citations before arrests or clearances begin as necessary.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopened to the public in April. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopens in Austin; turf fields open in Pflugerville and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

I-35 traffic
State now accepting public input on North Austin I-35 overhaul project

The public now has the ability to review and provide feedback on planning materials for a $400 million I-35 project.

Austin Bouldering Project currently operates a gym on Springdale Road in Austin. (Courtesy Austin Bouldering Project)
Local rock-climbing gym to open new location in South Austin this fall

The new gym will have comparable offerings to the original in East Austin.