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.


Travis County has added 3,069 new confirmed cases over the past week from July 6-12. (Community Impact Staff)
Travis County adds 3,069 new coronavirus cases over past week

Travis County has added 3,069 new confirmed cases over the past week from July 6-12.

A sign directs voters inside Ridgetop Elementary School in North Central Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
11.8% of voters in Travis County have voted early since June 29, exceeding 2018 primary numbers

More than 97,000 Travis County residents have voted in person or by mail. The turnout far surpassed the combined early and Election Day totals in the 2018 primary run-off election.

A photo of the potential Tesla property
Travis County updates Tesla incentive package, pushing for $1 billion-plus investment from the company

Poised for a possible July 13 vote, Travis County has released a refined incentives structure proposal with electric carmaker Tesla.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District confirmed 37 additional coronavirus cases July 10, bringing the total to 3,654. (Community Impact Staff)
37 new cases of coronavirus, 1 death confirmed in Williamson County on July 10

Currently, 103 patients are hospitalized, 32 are in intensive care and 16 are on a ventilator.

The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus is Culex quinquefasciatus, or the southern house mosquito. This species has a flight range of about one mile. ​(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus near southwest Williamson County Regional Park

There have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County since 2017.

Williamson County sees 844 new coronavirus cases this week

Between July 4 and July 10, Williamson County also reported 9 additional deaths.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

The city of Austin has sent three samples of algae from Lady Bird Lake to The University of Texas to test them for toxins. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of Texas researchers will test Lady Bird Lake algae for harmful toxins

Last summer, five dogs died in Lady Bird Lake after coming into contact with the toxic blue-green algae.

Former Cedar Park Police Department Chief Sean Mannix is pictured in this 2015 file photo. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Cedar Park police chief moves to Burnet, driver's license offices reopen: Most popular news this week from Central Texas

Read the most popular Central Texas news from the past week on Community Impact Newspaper's website.