A surge in hiring by retailers gearing up for the holiday shopping season helped push the Central Texas unemployment rate down to 4.9 percent in November, its lowest point in more than four years.
The Texas Workforce Commission reported that Austin retailers added 4,200 jobs between October and November, compared with statewide growth in retail of 44,600 jobs.
But to think this is just about retailers would be missing the larger point about the Austin economy.? Retail was the biggest factor over the last 4 weeks, but there's more to it.
Austin?s year-over-year job growth totaled 35,300, or 4.4 percent, which compared favorably with the statewide job growth of 2.6 percent.
?It is a robust picture for us and the region,? Miller said. ?We continue to be a step ahead of the state and the national jobs levels. This bodes well for the first quarter of 2013.
Net migration into Austin has been higher than expected as well.? You might think that that would put pressure on the unemployment numbers, but it seems to have the opposite effect- driving up employment of all kinds.