Rural Capital Area Unemployment Plummets to Pre-Pandemic Low of 2.8% in March; 43,946 Jobs Added Since 2021
Apr 15, 2022
Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area
CEDAR PARK, Texas ⎯ The economy of the Rural Capital Area of Central Texas continues its historic rebound amid the pandemic, with the unadjusted unemployment rate plunging to 2.8 percent in March 2022, dropping from the 3.4 percent rate recorded in February, according to figures released today by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The 2.8 percent unemployment rate in the nine-county Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area (WSRCA) represented 17,282 residents seeking employment, with more than 35,425 open jobs across all industries.* The region’s unemployment rate remained below the Texas (3.9 percent)** and national (3.8 percent)** rates, fueled by an employment recovery of 43,946 jobs added across the region since March 2021.
The last time regional unemployment was recorded at a 2.8 percent rate was in February 2020, just prior to the World Health Organization declaring novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, and Governor Greg Abbott on March 13, 2020, declaring a State of Disaster in Texas due to COVID-19. Since that time, WSRCA has helped grow employment in the region by more than 8.8 percent, or 48,731 jobs, from a labor force that has swelled to 618,441 in March, compared to 568,227 in February 2020.
All counties within the Rural Capital Area region saw significant unemployment rate declines in March. Blanco recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent (down from 3.1 percent), followed by Burnet and Williamson counties at 2.7 percent (down from 3.4 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively). Hays County dropped to 2.8 percent from the 3.5 percent recorded in February, while Bastrop and Fayette counties were at 3.1 percent, after sliding down from 3.8 percent. Caldwell and Lee counties came in at 3.2 percent (down from 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively). Llano County’s unemployment fell to 3.6 percent in March, after posting a rate of 4.5 percent in February.
“We build talent for employers, and we’re proud to see our innovative workforce development efforts continue to help fuel our region’s economic recovery,” said WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher. “But with more than 35,000 open positions still left to be filled across our communities and a middle-skills misalignment affecting industries nationwide, we’re finding new ways every day to bridge the gap between the high-demand skills employers need, and the skills our local workforce offers. With your help, we’ll continue delivering customized solutions to build a world-class workforce for Texas.”
Historically, for every dollar invested by WSRCA in workforce development programs, there is a return of $2.91 put back into the communities of the 9-county region from wages. For every dollar invested in early learning child care scholarships, there is a return of $1.19 put back into the local communities from job retention and additional earnings.
For a deeper dive into regional unemployment claims by demographics, skills impact, and zip code, please visit TWC’s resources.
The WSRCA team is eager to help you find workforce solutions. Visit a Rural Capital Area career center near you to empower your workforce journey. Services are also available virtually to meet your immediate workforce needs. Utilize our Interactive Skill-Based Career Progression Lattices and work with our teams to develop a customized training plan to help enhance your skills and create sustainable career outcomes.
Are you looking for work? The Workforce Wednesdays Virtual Career Expo connects employers and job seekers at weekly online hiring events. Workforce Wednesdays represent a collective effort among Rural Capital Area communities and industries to empower our workforce through virtual interactive events and continue to help the region compete globally.
Employers looking to host free hiring booths and interview sessions should email the WSRCA Business Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s no better time to ramp up your skills and marketability for local careers in high-demand industries. Through our partnerships, WSRCA offers more than 20,000 free online courses in various occupations through SkillUp Rural Capital, Metrix Learning, LinkedIn Learning, and the Dynamic Works Institute’s 5-Minute Countdown Series.
We are proud to continue innovating our service offerings to maximize our ability to deliver customized and sustainable outcomes for you. For more information, please visit WSRCA at www.workforcesolutionsrca.com, call toll-free at 1-844-344-2780, and begin your job search on www.workintexas.com.
Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision. To access this and more employment data, visit texaslmi.com.
Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area is a nonprofit community partnership providing no-cost recruitment, employment services, and childcare assistance to businesses, employers, and job seekers in the Rural Capital Area of Central Texas. This nine-county region includes Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Williamson counties. For more details on WSRCA and the services it offers, visit www.workforcesolutionsrca.com.
*Source: JobsEQ® - Online job postings across nine counties active from 3/01/2022 to 4/13/2022
**All unemployment rates listed are not seasonally adjusted.