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.


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