Austin Ends Year on High Note With Second-Fastest Job Growth Rate in the US
Written by: Sam Tenenbaum with CoStar–
Results Likely Mean Another Year of Strong In-Migration Trends, Fueling Growth Across all Real Estate Sectors
Austin ended the year on a high note, adding more than 34,000 jobs over the past year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. This marks the first time the Texas capital city grew by more than 3% since September 2018.
In fact, Austin’s 3.5% job growth was the second fastest rate in the country behind Raleigh, North Carolina, which posted 3.7% growth. That should likely mean another year of strong in-migration trends over 2019, fueling growth across all of the area’s commercial real estate sectors.
While official unemployment data has not been released by the BLS, the Texas Workforce Commission reports that Austin’s unemployment rate sits at 2.4%. That mark is down slightly from a month prior and suggests strong migration trends. Given the tight labor market, it would be hard for Austin employment to grow this quickly if the metropolitan area wasn’t at least matching last year’s population growth, which was the strongest in the country.
Job growth over the past year has been led primarily by the leisure and hospitality sector along with the education and health services sector, which have both added about 7,300 jobs over the trailing 12 months.
The construction sector, too, has expanded rapidly; the sector grew by more than 10% over the past year. With Austin ranking as the top office construction market in the country by percentage of space under construction, along with more apartment units underway than at any other point this cycle, there’s plenty of work to go around for construction crews.
Also noteworthy was the hiring in the professional, scientific and technical services portion of the professional and business services sector. A good proxy for tech jobs in Austin, this segment grew by more than 7% over the past year, owing to significant expansions across the tech industry in Austin.
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