Nicole Cobler
12 hours ago - Business

Local jobless rate drops to 2.9% as metro job growth booms

Data: Indeed; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The Austin metro area's unemployment rate dropped from 3.2% in November to 2.9% in December, per the latest figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Why it matters: Unemployment levels spiked because of COVID, hovering between 5% and 6% through June 2021, but the December figures are the latest sign that the local economy has recovered from those pandemic pains.

  • The latest figure remains below Texas' jobless rate of 4.3% and below the national unemployment rate of 3.7%.
  • Plus, Austin is one of the leading metro areas in the country for job growth, per a new report from the jobs site Indeed.

Austin's favorite key lime pie

A photo of three pies on a plate
Coconut cream pie from Tiny Pies (bottom), Quack's key lime pie (center) and key lime pie from Lucy's Fried Chicken (top). Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Reader Mitchell Carney recently laid down for Axios Austin a delectable challenge: Determine the city's best cheesecakes and key lime pies.

  • Always game, you wrote us with your favorites.

Austin's favorite cheesecakes

A slice of cheesecake with blackberries on top.
Committed to his profession, Asher was forced to dig into this slice of cheesecake from Word of Mouth Bakery. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

Acting on behalf of a reader, we solicited your recommendations for the best cheesecake and key lime in Austin.

State of play: Being a dedicated journalist, Asher decided it was his responsibility — nay, his obligation — to truth-test some of these reader recommendations. So, Thursday saw him whizzing around town, braving the cold, to try yet another forkful of cheesecake.

Asher Price
Jan 21, 2022 - Business

Weekend Austin picks for Jan. 21-23

Illustration of a latte with "weekend" written in the foam.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Stay warm this winter weekend.

And in these COVID times of ours, double-check that events are a go and peek at public health guidelines before you head out.

Asher Price
Jan 21, 2022 - News

Austin preps for another cold winter

Icicles hang from a frozen water fountain in front of the state Capitol building in Austin.
Icicles hang from a frozen fountain in front of the state Capitol building. Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

Austin is still burning from last year's blizzard.

Flashback: Nearly a year after Winter Storm Uri wreaked havoc on Texas' energy grid, plunging many Austinites into a cave-like ice age, the state has entered its sometimes-treacherous winter weather pattern.

Nicole Cobler
Jan 20, 2022 - Business

Austin schools meet the growing popularity of collegiate eSports

A photo of a eSports gaming room with desktop computers and monitors in the background.
Concordia University Texas' eSports center. Photo courtesy of Concordia

Concordia University Texas may be small, but its eSports program would have you believe otherwise.

The big picture: The Austin school, which has a student population of roughly 2,500, is one of just a handful of Texas colleges and universities with a varsity eSports team.

  • Concordia eSports launched in 2019 and is home to a 13-station arena equipped with Alienware and Logitech gear, a dedicated production system for streaming and a lounge area for viewers.
  • Roughly 43 students are on the varsity team, more than double the number who participated in Concordia's eSports program in 2019.
Asher Price
Jan 18, 2022 - News

New podcast examines Black Austin

Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco, left, are interviewed in their home by Richard Reddick and Lisa Henderson, right, for the podcast Black Austin Matters. Photo courtesy KUT.
Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco, left, are interviewed in their home by Richard Reddick and Lisa Thompson, right, for the podcast Black Austin Matters. Photo courtesy KUT.

"Two things I like to do in private: chicken and watermelon," Austin civil rights organizer Chas Moore says on a new podcast. "Being in Austin ... it's just a conscious thing I have about not wanting to do that in front of white people."

Driving the news: The poignant admission comes on "Black Austin Matters," a new KUT podcast hosted by Richard Reddick and Lisa Thompson — UT professors who talk with other Black Austinites about their perspectives on the city.

Nicole Cobler
Jan 18, 2022 - Business

New boutique hotels latest sign of Austin's rebounding travel industry

A photo of a bed in a hotel room.
Thompson Austin guest room. Photo courtesy: Hyatt Hotels

Hoteliers are placing big bets on Austin and a U.S. pandemic recovery.

Driving the news: Two new (and similarly named) hotels opened their doors last Wednesday — Thompson Austin and tommie Austin — the latest sign that the city's hotel industry is making a comeback.


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