Though “Keep Austin Weird” is the motto of this Texas state capital, there’s nothing remotely strange about Austin’s astounding growth over the last few years as one of the country’s more thriving professional hubs, largely defined as a destination for startups, tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Surveys routinely rank Austin as a top city for U.S. job seekers as well as one of the better places to live — trends for the better part of the last decade. 2022 saw Austin lay claim to several wins in high job growth, low unemployment and other industry marks in spite of recent economic threats such as inflation continuing to take hold.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the Austin job market.
Swift Growth Places Austin Job Market Among Top 50 Metros
Since February 2020, Austin has ranked first for job growth, even in spite of the lingering effects of COVID-19 and a 12-percent job loss rate in the metro between March and April 2020, according to labor market data from the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Workforce Commission and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Austin fully recovered from these losses in May 2021, notes the Chamber.
Additionally, in the 12 months ending in October 2022, the Austin job market added a total of 56,900 new jobs (out of 1,261,000 total jobs), equaling a year-over-year growth rate of 4.7 percent. This makes Austin the 20th best performing metro among the United States’ 50 largest cities, surpassed growth-wise in Texas by Dallas (6.9 percent), Houston (6.2 percent) and Fort Worth (4.6 percent).
“The latest data indicates that the Austin metro is the top performing metro for job growth in the United States when compared to the top 50 metros,” said Tamara Atkinson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area, in a September article from the Austin American-Statesman. “Major job growth and low unemployment adds to the challenge of finding candidates to fill numerous new roles.”
Leisure and Hospitality Sector Reaches All-Time High Employment Level
Austin’s attractiveness as a place to visit (and for some visitors, an eventual place to live and work) is one reason its tourism sector remains strong. But the city’s leisure and hospitality segment surpassed all expectations when, in October, its employment levels reached a new high-water mark of 146,300 jobs. This is in stark contrast to the pandemic’s crippling impacts on the sector in 2020, where L&H lost 62,200 jobs in March and April of that year. It would take a full two years for the segment to recover, making its October 2022 numbers all the more remarkable.
Tourism isn’t the only Austinian industry to thrive, with 10 out of 11 private industries adding new jobs within the same one-year period.
Austin Has the Lowest Unemployment Rate in Texas
As of October, Austin’s total unemployment rate stood at 2.9 percent (one percent lower than the Texas rate), ranking the lowest of all major Texas cities, cites data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and local unemployment statistics:
- Austin: 2.9 percent
- Dallas: 3.5 percent
- Fort Worth: 3.6 percent
- San Antonio: 3.7 percent
- Houston: 4.4 percent
Austin’s current unemployment rate sits on par with its average rates from 2018 up until the pandemic hit, when citywide unemployment skyrocketed to nearly 12 percent in mid 2020.
Tech Jobs Continue to Boom
California has Silicon Valley, but Austin has Silicon Hills — where many members of the former’s workforce are now setting up shop. Just a few short years ago, the burgeoning software industry in Austin began making big strides, but that’s given way to an explosive tech boom in the not-too-distant past.
Austin was recently ranked — for the third year in a row — by the CompTIA Tech Town Index as the best place for tech jobs in the entire country. Austin also landed on the top spot of the same index for projected tech job growth; according to the list, there may be at least 22,000 new industry jobs by 2027.
According to TechCrunch, the seed monies have been planted in the billions of dollars, drawing venture capitalists (VCs) to make some serious investments in Austin’s tech scene. In 2021, VCs invested over $5.5 billion for 412 deals, and that same year, several of the best tech companies in Austin exceeded a $1 billion valuation, including:
- The Zebra
- Firefly Aerospace
- Iodine Software
Built In Austin also ranked last year several tech companies as some of the best places to work in Austin, such as Tableau Software; Canva; Matillion; Atlassian; Dropbox; ClearDATA; and Unity.
Austin: Where Hybrid Workers Earn Big Bucks
Hybrid jobs — a balance of working in office and at home — have become all the rage in our post-pandemic world, and Austin ranks fourth out of the top 10 U.S. cities where hybrid workers earn $100,000 or more.
In Austin, 13 percent of hybrid jobs pay six figures, according to a late 2022 report by SimpleTexting, behind Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, respectively.
Accountability Resources Leads the Way in Finance and Accounting Jobs
The Austin job market is stronger than ever before, and getting stronger. With a myriad of industries calling it home, turn to Accountability Resources if you work in the accounting or finance fields, and seek your next career move in the heart of the Lone Star State. We’ve worked for 15 years connecting professionals with the right opportunities, where our accounting and finance recruiters all have industry knowledge and professional merit, with CPAs, MBAs and Big 4 experience.
Ready to get started on your journey? Contact us today.