No matter how you slice it, Austin reigns as the state’s biggest comeback story when it comes to recovering jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Dallas is not far behind.
New data from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce shows the Austin metro area has regained 96 percent of the jobs shed due to the pandemic, comparing the pre-pandemic month of February 2020 with this June. In terms of job recovery, this puts Austin in first place among Texas’ biggest metro areas and third among the country’s 50 biggest metro areas (behind No. 1 Salt Lake City and No. 2 Kansas City).
Dallas comes in just below it at No. 4 among the top 50 metros and No. 2 in Texas. While Austin’s job count in June remained 0.5 percent behind where it stood in February 2020, in Dallas, that number is 0.8 percent.
Elsewhere in Texas, it's:
- 1 percent in the San Antonio area, putting it in the No. 5 slot.
- 2.8 percent in the Fort Worth area, giving it a No. 18 ranking.
- 4.6 percent in the Houston area, pushing it to No. 31.
As for the increase in the number of jobs from last June to this June, Dallas, at 6.5 percent, claims the No. 16 spot among the top 50 metros, the data shows. Las Vegas leads the way, at 12.8 percent, and Austin ranks 11th (best in Texas) with a year-over-year jump of 7.3 percent. San Antonio (6.3 percent) lands at No. 18, Fort Worth (4 percent) at No. 46, and Houston (3.4 percent) at No. 49.
"Statewide, over the last 12 months, all industries added jobs," the report says. "Nationally, all private industries added jobs over the 12 months ending in June, led by leisure and hospitality (21.3 percent); other services (9.4 percent); and transportation, warehousing and utilities (6.9 percent). Relative to February 2020, only construction and natural resources and financial activities have recovered pandemic-related job losses."
The Austin region ranks first in Texas for the lowest unemployment rate in June — 4.4 percent. Dallas is next, at 5.4 percent, followed by San Antonio (5.5 percent), Fort Worth (5.6 percent), and Houston (6.9 percent), according to an Austin Chamber of Commerce report released July 20.