The Texas Workforce Commission had good news to report to Central Texas residents in the middle of April - the unemployment rate in the area dropped for the second month in a row in March. As such, the unemployment rate is down from 7.3% in February to 7.1% in March.
According to the commission, the Austin-San Marcos-Round Rock area added 4,600 jobs from month to month. Nonetheless, the total number of nonagricultural jobs was down to 760,300 when comparing one year to the next, representing a reduction of 500 positions. Furthermore, in March of 2009, the unemployment rate in Central Texas was lower at 6.6%.
The greatest number of positions were added in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 2,100 jobs from February to March. Government positions, which grew by 1,400, enjoyed the second greatest growth. Overall, the only industries to experience a decline in jobs were the professional and business services industry and the mining, logging and construction industry. Between February and March, 600 positions were lost within these industries.
The Texas Workforce Commission further reports that about half of the industries in the region were down when comparing year-to-year data, though the leisure and hospitality industry did add 6,000 positions. When comparing March of 2009 to March of 2010, the government also enjoyed quite an increase in jobs, with 2,800 new jobs being created during this timeframe. The education and health services sectors also added 2,700 jobs, but the business and professional services sector lost about 3,800 jobs when comparing year-to-year data.
Despite the fluctuations within industries and despite the improvement in unemployment rates within the Central Texas area, unemployment rates throughout the state remained stable at 8.2%. Although the overall unemployment rate within the state is higher than that found in the Central Texas area, it is still far better than the 9.7% national average.