Austin has ranked #2 in job growth compared to the other top 50 U.S. Metros. Austin had a net loss of 2,300 jobs which was only 700 more jobs lost than the best performing metro, Virginia Beach -a tenth of one per cent difference between the two metros.
When you compare to jobs lost in the U.S. in 2009 (4,941,700) or TEXAS (201,700), Austin's performance is amazingly strong. With so many indications of growth returning to different segments of the economy, Austin is well positioned to benefit early on in the recovery. Read the following article by Beverly Kerr.
Link to Article: http://app.e2ma.net/campaign/26685.9500ed75130f772a226097c08d88ddd3
Central Texas Economy In Perspective
By Beverly Kerr, Chamber Vice President of Research
Friday's Texas Workforce Commission and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases of December 2009 workforce numbers marked the 8th month running that the Austin metro, on a year-over-year basis, has lost jobs. Austin's nonfarm payroll jobs total 781,000 in December, a loss of 2,300 (-0.3%) over December 2008. It should be noted that this year-over-year difference is the smallest Austin has seen since May, and as the graph below indicates, the difference has been steadily narrowing over the last several months.
On our customary ranking of the best performing large metros, we retain second place behind Virginia Beach. Austin's aggregate job losses of 2,300 or 0.3% compare to 42,100 or -2.0% for Dallas, 8,000 or -0.9% for Fort Worth, 92,500 or -3.5% for Houston, and 9,000 or -1.1% for San Antonio.
Texas has 277,400 fewer jobs (-2.6%) than one year ago and has been seeing negative year-over-year numbers for 11 months. Nationally, 4,096,00 job((-3.0%) have been lost over the last 12 months and this is the 20th month of year-over-year decline.
In Austin's private sector, 6 industries lost jobs in the last 12 months, with the greatest numbers and the highest rates of loss, from -5.6% to -11.1%, in 3 of these: natural resources/construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade. These sectors lost a combined total of 11,900 jobs. A combined total of 1,600 jobs were lost in 3 other sectors: transportation/warehousing/ utilities, retail trade, and information. One of Austin's negative growth sectors, manufacturing, lost a greater percentage in Austin than it did statewide (-11.1% vs. -9.8%).
Moderate increases were seen in professional and business services (700 net new jobs or 0.6%), other services (800 or 2.5%), and government (1,800 or 1.1%). Larger rates of increase were seen in education/health services (4,000 or 4.9%), financial activities (1,300 or 2.9%), and leisure/hospitality (2,600 or 3.3%). Texas edged over Austin's growth rates only in the government sector. The only other sectors growing state wide were education/health services and other services, but Austin added at a greater rate in both of these industries.
Austin's net gains in private service providing industries (4,800) and in government (1,800) were outweighed by a loss of 8,900 jobs in goods producing industries. Austin's goods producing jobs decline of -8.6% was matched by Houston this month, which saw the same year-over-year loss. Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio's declines ranged from -2.8% to -5.8%. However, losses were greater statewide, -12.2%. While Austin's manufacturing losses were greater than the state's, our construction losses (-5.6%) were considerably lower than seen statewide (-14.6%). Among Texas' major metros, Austin was the only one seeing a year-over-year net gain in private service-providing jobs. Dallas and Houston lost the most in these sectors, -3.0% and -1.9% respectively.
Friday also saw the release of new unemployment (and labor force and employment) numbers for Texas, local areas in Texas, and the U.S. Unemployment numbers for December show Austin's performance relative to the state and other major Texas metros being sustained. San Antonio has been seeing a slightly lower unemployment rate and that applies again in December with their rate being 6.8% compared to our 6.9%. The rate is 8.0% in Dallas and Fort Worth's and is 8.3% in Houston.
Unemployment remains substantially higher than levels seen 12 months ago. In December 2008 Austin's unemployed was 45,517 (5.2%), but now Austin's unemployed has reached 62,505. While the number of unemployed has increased in Austin, so have civilian labor force and employment over the period. Civilian labor force (employed plus unemployed) increased by 30,122 or 3.5% in 12 months and employed increased by 13,134 or 1.6%. San Antonio and Fort Worth also show positive growth in employment as well as labor force. Dallas and Houston have seen year-over-year declines in employment, while labor force has increased.
Statewide, unemployment has reached 8.0%, up from 5.7% a year ago. Nationally, the December rate is 9.7%, compared to 7.1% a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Texas' December unemployment rate is 8.3%, up from 8.0% in November. Nationally, December's rate unchanged from the previous month, at 10.0%.
The Dallas Federal Reserve Bank produces seasonally adjusted data for Austin. On a seasonally adjusted basis, Austin's unemployment rate is 7.3% in December, up from 7.1% in November. Seasonally adjusted December unemployment rates are also up from the month before in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
Unemployment rates, and related data, for all U.S. metropolitan areas will be available Tuesday, February 2, on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' page for the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program.
Note that, as is the case each month, the initial numbers released in both datasets are preliminary estimates that will be revised next month. Furthermore, the state and federal agencies will do a benchmark revision process in March which will revise all annual and monthly numbers for 2005-2009.