Jon Hockenyos, the economic advisor who earlier this week told the Austin City Council that job losses in the Austin metro area could total over 261,000, says that most of the people losing those jobs will probably be reemployed by the end of September.
He expects the height of unemployment to be the month of May, with jobs beginning to pick up again in June. If 261,000 positions were lost, it would represent 25.4% of jobs in Austin before the coronavirus pandemic. Actual unemployment would be slightly higher than 25.4% because over 2% of the Austin job force was already unemployed before any coronavirus-related job losses took place.
Hockenyos does not expect employment by September 30 to fully match pre-crisis levels.
"I think we are going to see a little bit of permanent job loss," he says, without giving a specific forecast. "You will see some companies closing."
In the April 7 presentation, Hockenyos, who is the president of the economic development consultancy TXP, grouped occupations into categories and estimated a percentage of potential job loss for each.
He expects to see the greatest losses in occupations related to food preparation and service; cleaning and maintenance of buildings and grounds; and sales, with projected losses of 81%, 61% and 56%, respectively.
On the other end of the spectrum, he forecasts that computer and mathematical occupations; education, training and library occupations; and farming, fishing and forestry occupations will see no net job losses.
In his calculations, Hockenyos looked at factors such as whether occupations were essential to public health or safety, whether they involved work that could be done off-site, and whether they were salaried.
He also considered how close workers needed to be to others as they did their job.
Hockenyos points out that there are many unknowns. He says he finds it realistic to base estimates on a gradual return to jobs beginning in June, but many factors will ultimately affect the availability of jobs.
"If there is a second wave, things will change," he says. "If there is a cure, things will change. This is a process. You have to keep checking in."
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The University of Texas-Austin continued its march toward a new normal on Friday, as university President Gregory Fenves marked his last day of leadership after five years in office—the final two months of it dominated by sweeping pandemic-era changes on campus.
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Protests over police killings planned for Austin this weekend following widespread demonstrations across U.S.
At least two protests are planned in Austin this weekend over the recent killings of black men by police: Mike Ramos, who was fatally shot by an Austin Police Department officer on April 24 in Southeast Austin, and George Floyd, who died in police custody on Monday after a Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck. Both events were filmed.
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As Texas navigates reopening restaurants and bars safely, al fresco spots provide the perfect place for long-quarantined Austin residents. Some of these favorites are open only on the patio, others are allowing customers to eat to-go orders in the space, and a few are full service—the details are subject to change. This is not an all-inclusive list, but here they are, in no particular order:
Upscale seafood fare is served under striped umbrellas on the tree-lined porch, with dogs allowed and an unfettered view of South Congress foot traffic.
Address: 1400 S. Congress Ave.
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- As protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis spread to cities around the county, a demonstration drawing attention to both Floyd and Mike Ramos is planned for Austin this weekend.
- With local businesses concerned they can't make a profit at limited capacity, the city council may soon allow the use of sidewalks and parking lots to increase it, CBS Austin reports.
- KUT notes that, ultimately, it's up to voters to decide who votes by mail.
- Aaron Franklin will be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, writes Daniel Vaughn at Texas Monthly, just as his restaurant faces its biggest challenge yet.
'This has dwarfed anything else we've seen': Nonprofits adapt to soaring need, fewer volunteers and a fundraising slump
Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Austin, the Central Texas Food Bank has seen a tenfold increase in food costs.
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