On the bright side

Dallas ranked among best-performing cities for jobs despite losses during pandemic

Dallas ranked among best-performing cities for jobs despite pandemic

Garage bar Austin bartenders
Texas' hospitality industry is suffering. Garage Cocktail Bar/Facebook

In a lemons-into-lemonade scenario, there’s some good news about Dallas' economy.

From August 2019 to August 2020, the city saw an employment loss of 3.1 percent, or 84,100 jobs, according to a report published September 22 by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Despite that massive dip, it still makes Dallas one of the best-performing cities for jobs among the country's 50 largest metro areas.

Dallas ranked No. 3 in the national report, behind Indianapolis at No. 2. Another Texas city — Austin — ranked No. 1 nationwide.

Phoenix (4) and Jacksonville, Florida (5) round out the top five cities. Among other Texas cities, San Antonio landed in eighth place (job loss of 4.3 percent), according to the report. Fort Worth’s loss of 5.1 percent ranked 13th, and Houston’s decline of 5.8 percent ranked 18th.

At 2.7 percent, top-ranked Austin’s year-over-year job loss was the lowest among the country's biggest cities, the report shows. The region added 19,800 jobs in August, narrowing pandemic-related job losses to 50,100. 

In August, Austin’s unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent, the report says, while the other major Texas metros ranged from 6.2 percent in Dallas to 8.1 percent in Houston. Fort Worth was at 6.5 percent.

Texas’ employment is 177,384 or 1.3 percent below last August, the report says, while labor force is higher by 295,432 or 2.1 percent. Thus, the number of unemployed increased by 472,816 or 90 percent.

"Statewide, over the last 12 months, only 'financial activities' (category) added jobs (0.3 percent or 2,400)," the report says. "A double-digit loss prevails in leisure and hospitality (17.5 percent or 247,400 jobs) and construction and natural resources is down by 9.8 percent or 101,100 jobs. Information and other services are down by more than 6 percent.

"Nationally, no industries added jobs and two industries lost jobs at double-digit rates over the 12 months ending in August: leisure and hospitality (23.2 percent or 4 million) and information (10.1 percent or 293,000). Two more industries are down by lesser rates, but job losses in each range from 1.2 to 1.4 million (education and health services and professional and business services)."

Business experts expect the Texas economy to rebound fairly quickly from the pandemic.

“Once the health crisis is adequately managed, business activity can fully resume and the economic crisis will resolve. It will take a couple of years to get back on track and things will no doubt look a bit different, but we are projecting long-term job growth in metropolitan areas large and small, as well as rural communities,” Texas economist Ray Perryman said in August.

Perryman lays out these annual job growth projections through 2045 for the state’s major metro areas:

  • 1.79 percent in the Dallas area (more than 1.6 million new jobs).
  • 1.65 percent in the Austin area (more than 590,000 new jobs).
  • 1.49 percent in the Houston area (more than 1.5 million new jobs).
  • 1.49 percent in the San Antonio area (almost 534,000 new jobs).
  • 1.47 percent in the Fort Worth area (more than 501,000 new jobs).