Unemployment headlines dominate the news. Yet, here in Travis County, employment has increased. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a part of the U.S. Department of Labor, recently released year-over-year numbers comparing March 2010 to March 2009 and found that Travis County had positive job growth during that time.
Out of the 327 largest counties in the U.S., Travis County ranked 19th in terms of employment rates according to the report. By March 2010, there were approximately 565,300 employed in Travis County, an increase of 0.1% from March 2009. While that growth rate appears small, viewed in comparison the number is significant.
Texas, for example, experienced an overall decrease of 1.3% during that same time span. So, while unemployment got worse in the state, Travis County experienced gains. The United States as a whole saw employment drop by 2.1% from March 2009 to March 2010.
Elkhart County in Indiana ranked first in terms of employment gains with an overall increase of 5.7% year-over-year in March. At the other end of the spectrum, Collier County in Florida experienced a 6.0% decrease, ranking them last in the report.
Because of the sheer volume of numbers involved, the dates covered by the report may appear to be long past. Looking at numbers from March 2010 now may not indicate what is happening today. However, the overall comparisons are worthy of consideration as they indicate how well Travis County is performing in relation to the other large counties in the U.S. The trend in employment rates is critical to understanding the overall health of the economy and to see Travis County report positive employment numbers can only be taken as good news.
To see the complete rankings and the full report, click here.