The unemployment rate in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area hit 3.8% in July, as reported by the Texas Workforce Commission on Aug. 18.

The rate represents nearly 55,400 unemployed residents and is up from 3.5% in May and June.

The specifics

In July, there were 7,900 job losses in the metro with the most the most losses occurring across five industries.

The TWC reported the Austin metro July unemployment rate, which has not been seasonally adjusted, remains below the state’s July rate of 4.5%. Additionally, there was some regional job growth seen in a number of industries in July.

According to the TWC, the region has also experienced an annual growth rate of 3.1%, adding 39,500 jobs since last July. Overall, the leisure and hospitality industry experienced the greatest regional job growth year over year at an increase of 7%.

Also of note

According to representatives with the Workforce Solutions Capital Area, the health care industry is experiencing a “pressing issue” of workforce shortages, especially in nursing and various entry-level and middle-skill positions.

Tamara Atkinson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area, said in a news release that there are over 7,500 health care establishments operating in the Austin metro area with projections indicating nearly 200,000 health care positions will need to be filled over the next decade.

To address this need, Atkinson said the Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s Central Texas Healthcare Partnership is combining resources to train and prepare future health care professionals at a “faster clip.” The partnership focuses on:
  • K-12 initiatives to attract students to health care careers
  • Efforts to increase the number of nursing graduates
  • Strategies to address workforce shortages
  • Optimizing clinical placements for better hiring opportunities
The organization also published its Texas Talent Experts health care report in June, aimed at giving insight into the current and future health care workforce in Central Texas.

“Findings include that the healthcare industry has the third highest 10-year growth rate among all industries in Austin,” said Melanie Flowers, board chair for Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in a news release. “The work being done through the Central Texas Healthcare Partnership will help prepare local residents for the thousands of positions that need to be filled.”