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Austin sees highest job growth in the country but needs more skilled workers to fill jobs

Workforce Solutions said job creation in Austin increased 16% from 2016 to 2021, while the national average increased 1.8%. They hope locals can fill the new jobs.

AUSTIN, Texas — More and more companies are moving to Austin, and many offer jobs with higher-paying wages.

“Austin is the No. 1 metro in the U.S. for job creation right now,” said Jameson Cardenas, the senior director for marketing and communications for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. “But at the same time, there's 47,000 unfilled jobs, and that's 15,000 more than there were last year.”

Cardenas said from 2016 to 2021, job creation in Austin has increased 16%, while the national average increased just 1.8%. Cardenas said many of these jobs have higher-paying opportunities, and they want locals to have the skills to fill them.

“I think a common misconception with a lot of the higher-paying jobs is that they require a college degree,” said Cardenas. “And while college degrees are valuable, many of the roles that are available in Austin that pay higher wages only require a short-term credential.”

Workforce Solutions offers free certification or training programs to locals in some of these industries like health care, information technology, manufacturing and skilled trades. They are also now looking at another booming industry.

"Another one that we're seeing emerge is transit, with Project Connect and all the construction and other specialized jobs that are going to be there," said Cardenas. "So, these are industries that we're keeping a close eye on."

Workforce Solutions data shows nearly 70% of those who claimed unemployment benefits in Travis County since March 2020 have less than an associate degree, and many of those people are people of color. They want these people to have higher paying, stable jobs so they can afford to stay in Austin as the city’s cost of living continues to increase.

“We’re seeing the people come in and migrating to Austin, but with affordability, such a big issue here ... that's impacting those who earn less in Austin,” said Cardenas.

Over the next five years, they expect a 12% increase in jobs in the Austin area. 

You can learn more about job training and certification programs on their website.


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