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 have been 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. Ridership in January 2022 is 49% below pre-pandemic February 2020.

    Source: CapMetro

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  • Daily 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

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  • 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 March 27, 2022 reflect an 54% increase in driving requests, and a 19% increase 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 2020 was 37% of what it was in 2019. Total passengers for 2021 are 78% of 2019 and 210% of 2020.

    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

    Home sales in 2021 were 2.7% above the number attained in 2020. In 2020, total homes sold were up 8.8% over 2019.

    Source: Real Estate Center at Texas A+M University


  • New privately owned housing units authorized by permits

    In 2019, a total of 32,037 housing units were authorized by building permits and Austin ranked 6th among all U.S. metros for total units permitted. With 42,264 units permitted, 2020 is 32% above 2019. In 2021, Austin’s permit activity was 20% above 2020 and Austin ranks 5th for total units permitted. In both 2020 and 2021, only Dallas, Houston, New York and Phoenix saw more units permitted.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Sales tax & 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, 2020 sales tax allocations were up 0.9% over 2019. In 2021, the total was 15.1% above 2021 and year-to-date 2022 is up 21.5%.

    Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


  • City of Austin sales tax allocations

    The City of Austin's sales tax allocations in 2021 were 17.3% above 2020 and year-to-date 2022 is 27.8% above the same period last year. Allocations for 2020 were 1.3% below 2019.

    Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


  • Consumer spending

    In Austin, as of the week ending March 13, 2022, total credit card/debit card spending by consumers is 12.6% above the level of January 2020.

    Source: Affinity Solutions via Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker (Harvard University).

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  • Small businesses open

    In Austin, as of January 16, the number of small businesses open (defined as having financial transactions) is 9.3% above the level of January 2020.

    Source: Womply via Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker (Harvard University).

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  • Restaurant traffic

    Restaurant traffic for the week ending March 27, 2022 is up 18.6% in Austin and 14.6% statewide, but down 3.2% nationally, compared to the same week of 2019.

    Source: Open Table.

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