economy
1:47 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Austin Gains Jobs in April, Led By Leisure and Hospitality

Unemployment in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area dropped to 6.5 percent in April from 6.8 percent in March.

Most of the gains in the last month were in service industries.

“Austin gained 2,200 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities [sector], reflecting that statewide increase,”  Texas Workforce Commission spokesman Lisa Givens told KUT News, “As well as leisure and hospitality, which saw 2,500 jobs added over the month in Austin.”

Austin’s manufacturing sector lost jobs in April, but over the last year 500 manufacturing jobs were added in the metro area, a gain of just over 1 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate shrank for the third month in a row, dropping to 8 percent in April from 8.1 percent in March, and still well below the national rate of 9 percent.

But the job situation appears to be improving dramatically across the country, according to Bloomberg News.

Payrolls have grown for seven consecutive months, the longest stretch of gains since the beginning of 2007, Labor Department figures show. At the same time, gross domestic product rose at a 1.8 percent annual rate from January through March after a 3.1 percent pace in the final three months of 2010, the Commerce Department said April 28.