Dec 20, 2021 - Business

Austin employers struggle to fill jobs despite low jobless rate

Data: Burning Glass Labor Insight; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Some Austin workers remain unemployed in industries that are looking to fill jobs.

Why it matters: The Austin metro enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States, yet many sectors report difficulty finding skilled talent to fill critical roles.

By the numbers:

  • In the latest unemployment data for November 2021, there were 42,451 total unemployed workers in the Austin MSA labor force. That's a jobless rate of 3.2% compared to 3.4% in October, when 44,568 workers were unemployed.
  • Comparatively, as of October 2021, there were 61,602 unfilled online job postings in Austin MSA, according to Burning Glass Labor Insight.

Zoom in: The widest gaps between the unemployed and unfilled jobs are in industries such as tech and health care, per an analysis by Workforce Solutions Capital Area.

Of note: The highest degree attained by the majority of unemployed workers previously in these focus industries — except for those scientific and technical jobs — is less than an associate's degree.

  • This data suggests many unemployed workers may need further training or education to advance in these industries, Workforce Solutions CEO Tamara Atkinson said.

The bottom line: Austin area businesses are hiring, and many opportunities are available.

Yes, but: Workers earn what they learn. And residents aiming to take these higher-paying positions often lack the required skills.

By better preparing local workers for in-demand jobs, companies can fill roles at a lower cost, and the community can see economic benefits as a result, Atkinson says.


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