Austin
1:37 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Austin Unemployment Rate Drops

The Austin area experienced the greatest jobs gain in Texas last month, as unemployment dropped half a percentage point.  

In August, the Austin area added 5,900 jobs, according to the Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board.  This brings the Austin unemployment rate down from 6.4 percent in July to 5.9 percent in August. This is third time this year that the unemployment rate has dropped below six percent. Prior to April 2012, Austin had not seen an unemployment rate below six percent since 2009.

Tiffany Daniels, of Workforce Solutions Capital Area explains where Austin saw its biggest gains:

In professional and business services, we saw gains of 2,300 hires in August.  That is one of our strongest segments [in Austin], and again, expect to see continued growth in those areas. Local government, retail trade and financial activities also saw significant increases of 1300 and 900, respectively.

The weakest sectors were Health Care along with Social Assistance and Manufacturing which experienced losses of 1,700 and 500, respectively. Daniels attributes these losses to "demand," and as the economy ebbs and flows, "we should see [these] areas increase and decrease as the companies see fit."

As a state, Texas added 38,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate stayed at 7.1 percent. This is down one percent from last year and one percent below the national average of 8.1 percent, according to The Texas Workforce Commission.

Since August of 2011, Austin has added 2,600 jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen 1.2 percent.  This is more than one percent below the Texas average and two percent lower than the national average.