You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

‘BALANCED GROWTH’: Austin jobless rate dips as more people find work in April


The Austin-area unemployment rate headed down in April, while the number of employed workers in the metro area headed up — a pair of good signs for the region’s job market.

The metro area’s jobless rate dropped to 3.2 percent in April from 3.6 percent the prior month, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. A drop in the area’s unemployment rate is common in April — it has declined from the previous month every year since 2000, according to workforce commission data, and was even lower at 2.9 percent in April 2016.

However, the reason for the drop this year was a surge in people landing new jobs, rather than any changes in the size of the area’s labor force. The number of employed workers in the metro area jumped by 5,400 over March, according to workforce commission data, while the annual job growth rate remained healthy at 2.9 percent.

Job creation among Austin’s high-tech firms was strong in April. Professional, scientific and technical services firms, which include many of the region’s high-tech occupations, added 1,200 jobs, according to workforce commission data. The leisure and hospitality sector also added 1,000 jobs, as did the education and health sector, according to the workforce commission. The manufacturing sector also added 600 jobs during the month, according to the workforce commission.

“Those are good numbers,” said Drew Scheberle, senior vice president at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. “The interesting part to me is that they are more heavily weighted toward export-oriented jobs, such as manufacturing. It’s good to see that finally tick up for the month.”

Scheberle said he is encouraged that the metro area is showing signs of job growth that isn’t simply tied to population growth.

“When your job growth is all in education, health care and construction, that’s just tied to population growth. Here, we are having much more balanced growth so that is good,” Scheberle said. “When you look at markets like Phoenix, Miami, Las Vegas, the industries growing there were the result of the growth of the population, which is a whole lot more precarious.”

For Texas as a whole, the stateunemployment rate held steady during April at 5 percent, the workforce commission reported, while nationwide unemployment for April was 4.4 percent.

Texas has added 258,900 jobs over the past year, according to Andres Alcantar, commission chairman.

“Texas employers continue to create jobs in the broad based Texas economy with 10 of the 11 industries expanding over the year,” Alcantar said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

EXCLUSIVE: HomeAway plans major expansion, to add 2,000 workers in Austin
EXCLUSIVE: HomeAway plans major expansion, to add 2,000 workers in Austin

Austin-based HomeAway said it is planning a major expansion at The Domain in North Austin, where the nation’s largest vacation rental company will establish its global headquarters in a 16-story office tower that will house more than 2,000 additional employees. With the expansion, the company is “doubling down” on job growth in its...
Business Digest: U.S. jobless aid applications edge higher

ECONOMY U.S. jobless aid applications edge higher WASHINGTON — Slightly more people sought US unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applications remained at a historically low level that suggests the job market is healthy. The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 241,000. The less-volatile...
Starwood increases offer for Austin’s Forestar Group
Starwood increases offer for Austin’s Forestar Group

In the wake of a shareholder lawsuit contending its planned merger deal undervalued the company, Austin-based Forestar Group says it has now received a new, bigger buyout offer from Starwood Capital Group. Forestar Group announced in April that it had agreed to be acquired by Starwood Capital Group, a Connecticut-based investment firm, in a deal valued...
It’s a bird, it’s an … electric airplane?

The startup Who they are: Wright Electric, a startup backed by Y Combinator in Mountain View. What they do: Electric airplanes. Why it’s cool: Electric cars are commonplace around the Bay Area, Tesla is working on an electric semi-truck, and now Wright wants to take that technology to the sky. The founders say going electric will make air travel...
They predicted the ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack, so how come few listen?
They predicted the ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack, so how come few listen?

Misha Govshteyn and his colleagues at the cybersecurity start-up Alert Logic dropped all their projects earlier this year, except for one they deemed a graver threat than the rest. Someone had stolen never-before-seen hacking tactics from the National Security Agency and posted them online. Working in shifts for 36 hours straight, dozens of Alert Logic...
More Stories