This dashboard is intended to be complimentary to public health and other dashboards.

Metro business cycle index

The Business Cycle Index summarizes movements in locally measured payroll employment, the unemployment rate, inflation-adjusted wages, and inflation-adjusted retail sales. The indexes are weighted so that movements in the index represent underlying co-movements in the indicators and thus the underlying state of the economy and illustrate each metro’s patterns of recessions and expansions.

Jobs & employment

Monthly estimates of nonfarm payroll jobs by metropolitan area and unemployment rates by county and metropolitan area are usually released by the Texas Workforce Commission on the third Friday of the month.


Travelers are cautious as they are choosing to work and stay at home. This has had a profound and immediate effect on usage of public, air and road transit.

  • CapMetro ridership

    CapMetro posted year-over-year increases in overall ridership for a record 17 months before the stay home orders were instituted in response to COVID-19. September 2020 ridership compared to September 2019 is down by 54%.

    Source: CapMetro

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  • Weekly transaction trends 183-A toll road

    Transactions on 183A dropped more than 50% after stay at home requirements were instituted and has slowly started to rise as restrictions have eased. This trend is similar across all CTRMA roads.

    Source: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

  • Micromobility (e.g., scooters) trips

    Micromobility trips shows the level of mobility in the city's densest areas such as Downtown & the Domain. After stay at home orders were instituted, trips dropped dramatically.

    Source: City of Austin

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  • Mobility index

    Requests for directions in Apple maps on November 2, 2020 reflect a 4% decrease in driving requests, and a 43% decrease in transit requests, compared to the index base period of January 13, 2020.

    Source: Apple.

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  • Community mobility

    The data shows how visitors to (or time spent in) categorized places change compared to baseline days. A baseline day represents a normal value for that day of the week. The baseline day is the median value from the 5‑week period Jan. 3-Feb. 6, 2020.

    Source: Google.

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  • ABIA total passengers

    Total passenger traffic ABIA in August is down 72% from what it was one year ago. The ABIA schedule report (flights loaded for sale to customers) for November indicates that seats are down 49% compared to November 2019.

    Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport


Real estate

The longer term impacts on real estate (across every asset class) are hard to predict but short-term impacts could soon be visible across the following data sets.

  • Commercial vacancy rates

    The vacancy rate is the percentage of the total amount of physically vacant space divided by the total amount of existing inventory. Under construction space is not included.

    Source: Costar Group


  • Home sales

    September home sales are 31% above the number attained in September of last year. Year-to-date sales are up 4.4%.

    Source: Real Estate Center at Texas A+M University


  • New privately owned housing units authorized by permits

    In 2019, a total of 32,025 housing units were authorized by building permits. Among the top 50 metros, Austin ranked 6th for total units permitted and 1st for permits per capita. Through September 2020, units permitted are 31% above 2019.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Sales tax & consumer spending

Sales tax allocations represent the total dollars returned to a local sales taxing city, county, special purpose district or transit authority by the Comptroller's office for their local sales tax collection. Allocation amounts are dependent upon the timing and accuracy of taxpayers' returns, but generally represent taxes collected on sales made two months or more prior to the allocation payment.

  • Sales tax allocations

    For these four major taxing jurisdiction combined, sales tax allocations are up 1.3% year-to-date.

    Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


  • City of Austin sales tax allocations

    The City of Austin's sales tax allocations for October are 3.6% lower than October of last year.

    Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


  • Consumer spending

    In Austin, as of October 18, total credit card/debit card spending by consumers is 9.2% above the level of January 4-31, 2020.

    Source: Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker (Harvard University).

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  • Restaurant traffic

    Restaurant traffic for the week ending November 2 is down 41% in Austin, 32% statewide and 46% nationally, compared to the same week of 2019.

    Source: Open Table.

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