Boomtown or Bust

Austin booms as one of country's hottest job markets, says Wall Street Journal

Austin booms as one of country's hottest job markets, says WSJ

Hispanic business workers in an office
Need a job? Austin might be the place for you. 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

You may have heard Austin billionaire Elon Musk recently declare that our city is poised to be the “biggest boomtown” in the U.S. Now, The Wall Street Journal agrees (sort of) with Musk’s proclamation.

In a study of the 53 U.S. metro areas with at least 1 million residents, The Wall Street Journal puts Austin at No. 2 in its ranking of the country’s top labor markets — a key element in determining a region’s “boomtown” status. For its list, the Journal looked at factors like unemployment rate, wages, and changes in payroll and workforce size.

Ahead of Austin in the ranking is Salt Lake City. It’s followed by Denver, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C.

The Journal says Austin and other hubs far from the East and West coasts “emerged as beacons to job seekers and businesses during the pandemic.”

Data from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce underscores Austin’s stature as a job hub.

In terms of job growth from February 2020 to February 2021, the Austin area ranks second among the top 50 U.S. metro areas, behind Salt Lake City and Jacksonville, Florida, the chamber says.

The chamber tallied 67,500 job postings in the Austin area in March, up 4,100 from the previous month. Recently announced business relocations or expansions represent 7,575 new jobs, according to the chamber. The region’s February unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent, compared with the statewide rate of 6.9 percent.