Report: Austin lost more than 129,000 jobs between February and April

Austin skyline
From April 2019 to April 2020, the Austin area lost more than 95,000 private sector jobs, according to analysis by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

From April 2019 to April 2020, the Austin area lost more than 95,000 private sector jobs, according to analysis by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

As multiple sectors of Austin’s economy temporarily closed stores to customers as part of a nationwide effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, more than 100,000 Austin jobs were lost in the process.

This is according to a May 26 report released by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The Austin Chamber analyzed state and federal unemployment data released in late May to construct its report.

The new report found the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area lost a total combined 129,200 jobs.

“As dismal as these losses are, Austin’s year-over-year decline of 9.1% makes it the ninth ‘best performing’ among the 50 largest metro areas [in the U.S.,]” the Austin Chamber wrote in its May 26 report.

Of the 10 metro areas that experienced the lowest percentage of job losses year over year, four of them—Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio—are in Texas.


From April 2019 to April 2020, the Austin area lost more than 95,000 private sector jobs—a decline of 10.3%—according to the report. Austin’s government job sector, which accounts for 17% of all jobs in the metro area, shrunk by more 5,400 jobs.

The entire state of Texas experienced a similar statewide downtown, figures show. Private sector jobs declined by 10.1% year-over-year statewide.

The Austin Chamber’s report found that job postings are actually up across five industries. Those industries are construction and natural resources; manufacturing; transportation, warehousing and utilities; professional and business services; and financial activities.

In contrast, Austin’s leisure and hospitality industry has been gutted by the coronavirus pandemic. According to figures analyzed by the Austin Chamber, the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes hotel workers, restaurants cooks and servers, caterers and more, has lost approximately half of its total jobs since this point last year.

Approximately 67,500 leisure and hospitality jobs were lost from February 2020 to April 2020, according to the Austin Chamber report. That represents a 49.1% drop in jobs across the industry.

In that same time period, 21,000 education and health care professionals have lost their jobs in Austin, a 15.9% decline in jobs.

More than 8 million jobs were lost nationwide from February to April, the Austin Chamber report found. In that time, 16.29 million Americans became unemployed, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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