Unemployment rate in Austin falls to 2.7%, but ‘the need for people is not decreasing’

If you’re looking for evidence of an economic downturn, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it in Austin’s sizzling job market.

The region ended 2022 with a December unemployment rate of 2.7%, according to unseasonally adjusted data from the Texas Workforce Commission, up from 2.9% a year ago and after a flat 2.8% in November. October and September.

The slight decline comes despite increased national and local headwinds, including rising interest rates, cooling housing markets and increased layoffs in the high-tech sector, which raise fears that the broader economy could head into recession.

However, it is clear from the latest unemployment data that the trends have not yet affected the overall demand for labor.

Here are some key takeaways from the job numbers:

More:Will tech and housing troubles slow down Austin’s economy in 2023?

Austin's job market continues to thrive.  The local unemployment rate eased to 2.7% in December as demand for workers in the hospitality sector and many other industries continues to be strong.

Austin is not alone

Statewide and nationally, unemployment also remains low—but not as low as in the Austin area.

The unemployment rate in Texas was 3.6% in December compared to 3.7% in November and 4.2% a year ago. Nationally, the unemployment rate ended in 2022 at 3.3%, compared to 3.4% in November and 3.7% in December 2021. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

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