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2021 Texas Jobs Outlook

Texas Jobs

Texas jobs may seem hard to come by in 2021, but you just need to know where to look. Businesses large and small are hiring—but they may not be who you expect. Take Tecovas, for instance. They’re an Austin-based western wear company that happens to be the fastest growing western brand in the country. And they’re hiring. Yes, even now. Especially now. Their Austin headquarters needs directors of performance marketing, technology, operations and logistics, and more.

We’ve got thousands of Texas jobs coming in 2021—many of them relocating from places like California. More than 200 companies have relocated to Texas over the past decade, and still the business network YTEXAS says 2021 could be the biggest year yet for relocations. According to the Austin Business Journal (ABJ) and Opportunity Austin, a record-breaking number of new jobs attributed to corporate relocations and expansions—nearly 10,000—have been announced in Austin this year, despite the pandemic.

Spotlight on Austin Jobs

The Texas jobs outlook for 2021 is dominated by Austin jobs, specifically Austin tech jobs. You’ve heard the stories: Oracle and Tesla are moving in and Facebook, Google, Apple, Dropbox and other household names continue to expand their workforces in Austin. Rumor has it, TikTok could be next. Tesla alone is poised to hire 5,000 workers for its gigafactory in East Austin, with hundreds of jobs already being filled for both the construction of the facility and for operations.

Austin Chamber reported about 66,500 open Austin jobs in November, which is an increase of 4,000 postings compared to the previous month. And that doesn’t even include temporary staffing. The most first-time job postings in November include jobs at Hospital Corporation of America, The University of Texas, IBM, Ascension Health, Baylor Scott & White Health, Anthem Blue Cross, and Dell.

Don’t overlook startups and emerging businesses like Tecovas, though. In Austin, a good indicator of future hiring is funding. Everlywell recently raised $175 million, vaulting the startup to unicorn status. ZenBusiness, ActivTrak and Ambiq Micro each reported $50M or more in new funding in November. Expansion plans include new Austin jobs for Zynga, ZenBusiness, VORAGO Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific,, Jump Trading, Hellas Construction, Freedom Solar Power, and ActivTrak.

Most new Austin jobs fall under the tech label, with the majority of those tech jobs going to software developers. But other sectors are hiring, too:

Texas Jobs in Manufacturing and Distribution

Texas jobs are growing statewide in the areas of manufacturing and distribution, both for permanent fulltime jobs and seasonal, temporary staffing. The Dallas Federal Reserve reports Texas factory activity expanded in November for the sixth consecutive month with a boost in hiring, too (25% of manufacturers reported actively hiring).

YETI is an excellent example of how these industries are growing when so many others are suffering. The Austin-based company credits its 29% net sales increase this past fall to strong demand for outdoor recreation and leisure lifestyle products and an increasing shift to online shopping as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Warehouse and distribution hiring is up, with Amazon leading the charge in new Texas jobs. Amazon has several fulfillment centers popping up around Texas in 2021. Pflugerville‘s center will bring 1,000 new jobs, while El Paso’s first center is expected to create 700 full-time jobs. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex will welcome 500 full-time jobs with a new Forney center. Missouri City will gain 500 new jobs with its new center, while Waco will be adding 1,000 new Amazon employees at a center there. And those numbers don’t even reflect the hundreds of additional tech and corporate jobs being added by Amazon, particularly in the Tech Hub of North Texas.

Will Oil and Gas Jobs Recover?

Oil and gas jobs suffered immense job losses in 2020. As the Greater Houston Partnership explains, “A collapse in oil prices rocked the energy industry at the same time COVID shut down the economy. The region shed 350,000 jobs during the first two months of the pandemic. The devastation could be seen throughout the economy.”

Some jobs have already resumed. But, according to the organization, Houston needs another 174,000 to return to its pre-COVID employment level.

“That won’t happen quickly,” the Partnership adds. “Only five times in the past 40 years has Houston added 100,000 or more jobs in a year, all during boom times for the oil and gas industry. Energy won’t rescue Houston this time.”

The Partnership’s forecast calls for Houston to add up to 52,000 jobs in 2021, with most of the growth occurring in the second half of the year. Every sector will register job growth except energy and retail. The sectors creating the most jobs will be administrative support services, health care and social assistance, manufacturing and professional services. Here’s the projected job breakdown:

  • Energy: Flat to a loss of –2,000 jobs
  • Construction: +2,000 to 4,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing: +4,000 to 6,000 jobs
  • Wholesale Trade: +3,000 to 3,500 jobs 
  • Retail: –2,000 to  –3,000 jobs
  • Transportation: +2,500 to 3,000 jobs
  • Information: +500 to 1,000 jobs
  • Finance and Insurance: +800 to 1,000 jobs
  • Real Estate, Rental and Leasing: +1,000 jobs
  • Professional, Scientific, Technical Services: +4,000 to 6,000 jobs
  • Administrative and Support Services: +6,000 to 8,000 jobs
  • Education Services: +600 to 1,000 jobs
  • Health Care and Social Assistance: +6,000 to 7,000 jobs
  • Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: +600 to 1,500 jobs
  • Restaurants and Bars: +4,000 to 5,000 jobs
  • Hotels: +1,000 to 1,500 jobs
  • Other Services: +1,000 to 1,500 jobs
  • Government: +500 to 1,000 jobs

Advice for Securing Texas Jobs

Our main piece of advice for job seeking in 2021? Consider your transferrable skills. Even if you’ve worked in the energy sector your entire career, 2021 might be the perfect time to figure out how your trade skills could be used in the construction, manufacturing, and transportation fields. Look back at the Houston job outlook list and you’ll see administrative professionals will be in high demand, particularly in the health care and health research sectors. If you’re an administrative professional in a struggling industry, consider how those skills could transfer to help build up the Texas industries that are thriving.

For more on taking advantage of your transferrable skills, read our previous article on how to pandemic-proof your career. It may require some retraining or new certifications, and you may want to consider temporary staffing as way to try out new industries and positions that are in demand right now, particularly if you’re in a skilled trade or administrative field.

And if you find yourself competing for Austin jobs, you’ll face unique challenges. There are jobs arriving in the city daily, but top talent also continues to move to Austin in droves as well. If you’re a software developer or tech professional in particular, it’s important to get on the radar of tech recruiters and executive recruiters for valuable leg-up on jobs as they hit the market.

This past year wasn’t easy for anyone. But Texans are lucky. Texas jobs outnumber those in other states, and the career potentials in some industries and Texas metros are higher than ever. Let’s get out there and find you your dream job.


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