Austin regains all pandemic job loss, San Antonio nearly misses top 10 best performing metros in the country

The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Standing at 1,142,500 jobs in August, the Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses the total nonfarm payroll jobs the area had during the last pre-pandemic month.

In February 2020, the total nonfarm payroll jobs in the Austin MSA was 1,142,400, according to a report from the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The Austin MSA includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Comparing the top 50 major metros in the country to where they stood in February 2020, Austin ranks as the fourth best performing metro, and San Antonio is ranked 11th. From July to August, the unemployment rate dropped from 4% to 3.8% in Austin and 5.4% to 4.8% in San Antonio. Even though the Austin MSA is recovering from spring 2020 pandemic job losses, seven industries have added jobs while five industries have fewer jobs since February 2020, according to the report.

“The continued decrease in the unemployment rate and the positive job growth is good news for Texas,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chair Bryan Daniel in a press release. “The demand for middle skills jobs—those requiring less than a bachelor’s degree but more than a high school diploma—continues to grow, and TWC is committed to ensuring the state's workforce has the tools needed to succeed in these high-demand jobs."

Industries experiencing the most significant monthly increase in the Austin MSA from July to August are professional and business services (1,900 jobs added); education and health services (3,700 jobs added); and trade, transportation and utilities (1,200 jobs added). The leisure and hospitality industry continues to take hits as the industry lost 5,800 jobs during that time period, according to a Workforce Solutions Capital Area news release.

“Employers hiring across Central Texas are placing a premium on skilled talent,” said Melanie Flowers, chair of the board of directors for Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in the news release. “For those residents who are motivated to take open positions but lack the necessary skills, Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers job search support, training and much more to connect local job seekers to good-paying employment opportunities in Travis County.”

In the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, the same three industries experienced growth from July to August in addition to the information industry, according to a Workforce Solutions Alamo news release. Six major industries that experienced job loss from July to August are leisure and hospitality, construction, financial activities, government, “other” services and manufacturing. Among these industries, leisure and hospitality took the largest hit, losing 4,400 jobs.

“Service industries are crucial to our state’s economy,” Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson said in the TWC news release. “Assisting with getting our Texans back to work helps our Texas employers bounce back, which means a stronger recovery for all of Texas.”

Information regarding monthly and yearly percentage change by industry in all Texas MSAs and other information can be found here.

By Trent Thompson

Reporter, Austin Metro

Trent joined Community Impact Newspaper as an intern in May 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Texas, Austin in December 2020. In July 2021, he was promoted to Austin Metro reporter. He covers several news beats from education and government to dining, transportation, nonprofits, and healthcare. However, his primary beat is business and development. Before working at CI, Trent wrote for The Daily Texan, UT's daily student newspaper, and worked on many projects of his own for his undergraduate program. In his free time Trent writes poetry, spends time with loved ones, and watches Star Wars for the hundredth time, including other new movies.


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