The losses the metro area faced in the labor force and employment starting in February 2020 was recuperated in excess in June 2022 with Austin’s nonfarm payroll jobs growing to 1.2 million, according to the Texas Workforce Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By May 2021, Austin had regained all of the 2020 pandemic-related job losses it saw, the metro ranking first for job growth since the beginning of 2020, which was estimated at 1.14 million. The report from the Austin Chamber of Commerce said Austin was “the best performing metro in terms of regaining prepandemic jobs with an 8.7% change” from February 2020.
According to the chamber, 10 private industries in Austin surpassed their 2020 employment, and there is one industry that has yet to gain back the losses it saw in 2020.
For example, leisure and hospitality saw a 45% job loss in March and April of 2020. The industry regained the jobs lost in April 2022 with employment being 5.5% higher than what it was in February 2020. In transportation, utilities and warehousing, jobs have seen more than a 24% increase since February 2020. The only job sector that has not recovered jobs lost from early 2020 includes jobs in grantmaking, civic, personal and laundry services, repair maintenance and similar organizations.
Seasonally adjusted, jobs are up .5% in Austin and .6% in the state.
“Over the last 12 months, the net gain for private service-providing industries in Austin is 69,500 jobs, or 8.3%. Employment in goods-producing industries is up by 5,600 jobs or 4%,” the report said.
In May 2022, of the 50 largest metros nationwide, Austin had the sixth-lowest rate of unemployment, and in June, the nonseasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 3.1%. In June of last year, it was 4.5%. The unemployment rate in 2019 was 2.7% on average in Austin, showing how even though there has been some recuperation in the jobs lost due to the pandemic, they are not back to where they were before the pandemic. Within the Austin metro, Travis County had the lowest unemployment rate with 3% as of last month, with 3.1% in Williamson County and 3.3% in Hays County.
In March and April of 2020, Austin’s labor force fell by 9.7%, or 97,419 people. The amount of people employed decreased by 195,577.
Now, the labor force is 7.8% above what it was in February 2020, and employment is 7.2% higher. Over the last month, labor force has risen .9%, and the number of those employed rose by .4%. In the last year, the labor force has grown by 3.7% and those employed by 5.3%.