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Report: Austin unemployment rate continues to drop

With the rate still going down, about 42,500 area residents remain unemployed.

AUSTIN, Texas — Unemployment in the Austin area is still on the downward trend with thousands of jobs added from October to November, according to a new report.

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.2% in November, down from 3.4% in October, according to Workforce Solutions Capital Area. The November rate represents about 42,500 residents without work.

Specifically, the Capital area/Travis County region has seen the unemployment rate drop from 3.3% to 3.1% in November, representing almost 25,000 unemployed residents.

That rate remained below the Texas and national unemployment rates, which are 4.5% and 3.9%, respectively. 

Similarly, Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, which encompasses counties surrounding Travis County, reported the regional unemployment dropped outside of the capital city as well. The rural capital-area unemployment rate dropped to 3.3% from 3.5% in October.

In addition to a lower unemployment rate, the Austin area added nearly 12,000 jobs from October to November. The region has experienced an annual growth rate of 7.8%, representing a collective gain of nearly 86,000 jobs since November 2020, per the report. 

According to the report, industries that experienced a significant increase in regional job growth from October to November include trade/transportation/utilities, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The latest unemployment numbers come after a recent Workforce Solutions report indicating that the local demand for workers continues to outpace the number of unemployed workers in the area. The report looked at several key industries, like manufacturing and food service, which have thousands of unfilled positions with thousands of previous workers from those industries unemployed.

Workforce Solutions concluded in that report that a lack of access to education and training among those interested in available jobs stops workers from getting hired, leaving those positions open. Many unemployed workers from the key industries highlighted reportedly have earned less than an associate's degree. 

“Austin-area businesses are hiring, and employers in the region are willing to pay higher wages for skilled workers. Still, the labor market remains tight,” said Tamara Atkinson, CEO at Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “Many sectors report difficulty finding the talent to fill critical roles, and residents motivated to take these higher-pay positions often lack the required skills.”

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