15K-Plus Jobs Pledged Through June in Austin — Nearly Tripled Job Announcements From Last Year

(Article is from Austin Business Journal, copyright belongs to owner) 2020 was a record-setting year for jobs pledged from company relocations and expansions in the Austin metro — a metric the region is pacing to leave in the dust this year.

More than 100 companies have chosen to invest in Central Texas in the first six months of 2021, which resulted in nearly 15,100 jobs announced from relocations and expansions through June. That was nearly triple the number of jobs pledged during the same timeframe last year, according to a recent report from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and data from Opportunity Austin, the economic initiative of the chamber. Overall, the metro has reached 68% of last year’s record of 22,114 jobs announced.

Central Texas has been inundated for years with economic activity as new businesses and residents rush to the area. That’s evident in the population boom as well as in rising affordability issues and the lack of housing supply, which has resulted in skyrocketing prices. On the other hand, businesses are breathing life into new industries, such as automotive manufacturing, which experts have said is key to a balanced and healthy economy. Austin’s technology scene and venture capital ecosystem also continue to flourish.

The Austin metro population grew faster than any other major U.S. metro each year for the past decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The population climbed an estimated 579,014 from 2010 to 2020, an increase of about 34%, and the latest chamber numbers add credence to a belief among many local leaders that the region is poised for even more growth.

About 2,100 jobs were announced in June from more than 20 corporate relocations or expansions, according to the chamber data. That means that, so far this year, at least 54 new companies have landed in the area with plans to add nearly 6,060 new jobs. Those companies include fitness franchise F45; reported Tesla Inc. suppliers Simwon North America Corp. and Plastikon Industries; and tech company Markaaz

At least 25 headquarters have been set up in the area since the start of the year, according to a tally by Austin Business Journal. Many companies are flocking from California because of Texas’ lack of an income tax and generally business-friendly environment.

On the other hand, at least 56 companies that already had a presence in the Austin metro have announced plans to expand, with about 9,040 jobs announced through June, according to Opportunity Austin’s data. That includes rocket maker Firefly Aerospace Inc., which recently announced plans to add more than 680 jobs, and Tesla’s estimate that it will need 5,000 additional people in Austin on top of the 5,000 jobs pledged last year.

Tesla’s $1.1 billion gigafactory east of Austin is slated to be complete this year. Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) plans to produce its Model 3s, Model Y SUVs, Cybertrucks and Semi tractor-trailers in Central Texas. The factory will also host a battery cell manufacturing unit.