Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
×
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Congress Avenue, downtown, capitol
Charlie L. Harper III

Jon Hockenyos projects that unemployment numbers will drop again by the end of September. (Charlie L. Harper III)

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."

Popular

Kaitlin Armstrong, suspect in Moriah Wilson murder, captured in Costa Rica after more than a month on the run

(U.S. Marshals)

The Austin woman suspected of killing star cyclist visiting from out of town, Moriah "Mo" Wilson, has now been captured after evading arrest for more than a month.

Keep ReadingShow less
As the EPA faces limits on greenhouse gas regulations, Texas researchers work on carbon capture tech

UT is developing technology targeted at power, steel, cement and other industrial plants to lower emissions. (UT Austin)

On Thursday, the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority in regulating greenhouse gases, a move that comes at a time when experts have warned about the need to take action on climate change.

Keep ReadingShow less