Austin’s unemployment rate takes a hit for the month of September, climbing to 6.4% after falling a full percentage point below that just one month earlier. Travis County bars remain closed and with a large number of them projected to be unable to survive the shutdown, economists are projecting Austin’s rate to climb even higher before the year ends.
The Austin Chamber of Commerse is out with its monthly jobs report and may shed some light on where this bump in unemployment is coming from. The Chamber’s Beverley Kerr says between the months of August and September three area industries saw the most job loses. “Construction and natural resources…that sector is down alittle less than 2000 jobs, and then manufacturing has in general been growing but its down alittle over 1000 jobs. And then retail trade looks like about 1500 jobs down.”
But even with these new losses Kerr adds, economists and experts still predict Austin to lead the state in terms of recovering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say Texas as a whole should reach its pre-pandemic peak employment in late 2022, but Austin will be at that point in mid 2021.