At the beginning of 2020, Austin was poised for continuing economic growth and expansion. The pandemic put much of that on hold, but according to Spyglass Realty, the city will begin its rebound in 2021. Sarah House, Senior Economist with Wells-Fargo Securities notes that Austin remains a top destination for corporate expansions and relocations, and a number of tech companies appear to agree.
Austin is sometimes referred to as “Silicon Hills” and tech is a major growth driver for the area. Some of the high profile companies that are moving in to Austin include Tesla, Inc., Oracle Corporation, and Apple Inc.
Tesla, Inc. has announced that their Tesla Gigafactory will be located in Travis County. It will be one of the world’s most advanced plants, and there are plans to hire about 5,000 people to staff the new facility. The average salary will be $47,147 with entry level positions starting at $35,000, according to The Verge.
Just this month, Oracle Corporation announced that it is moving its headquarters from California, to Austin Texas. Although they have not committed to a timeline for the move, nor to how many jobs this will create, the company is going to concentrate its future hiring in the Austin region. The pandemic hastened their adoption of remote work, and Oracle plans to allow most employees to decide where they want to live, and whether to work remotely full time.
Apple has already broken ground on its planned 3-million square foot campus in Austin, and plans to employ 5,000 people with the possibility of tripling that over time. Tim Cook says, “Building the Mac Pro, Apple’s most powerful device ever, in Austin is both a point of pride and a testament to the enduring power of American ingenuity. . . Apple is eager to write our next chapter here and to keep contributing to America’s innovation story.”
These initiatives will create 10,000 jobs which will help offset those lost during the pandemic. Although the economic growth in Austin will be at a slower pace, it will continue.
As in the rest of the country, retail and hospitality/leisure sectors were particularly hard hit in Austin. According to Angelos Angelou, formerly of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, those sectors will rebound, but it will take more time than other sectors. Overall, Austin will have lost 45,000 jobs in 2020, but will begin the rebound by gaining 29,000 in 2021. While hospitality/leisure and retail will remain the hardest hit, Austin’s technology sector has been relatively safe. Angelou feels that Austin’s entrepreneurial spirit will lead the city through and out of the coming economic hardships and will help Austin fare better than other major metro areas.