The City of Austin is expecting Great Depression-era job losses as the coronavirus continues to shut down the economy. Current forecasts predict a quarter of a million people in Austin could be without jobs in the next couple months, an unemployment rate of about 25%.
Jon Hockenyos, the president of the Austin economic consulting firm TXP, Inc., told city council members Tuesday that this is just the beginning – it’s likely going to take two years for the Austin economy to get back to normal.
“I’m hoping that is a slightly pessimistic scenario, but I think it is a realistic scenario,” Hockenyos said.
Job losses are expected to hit the sales, production and hospitality sectors the hardest. This includes people who work in jobs that involve close contact with others, such as restaurant employees, hotel workers and flight attendants.
Ed Van Eenoo, the City of Austin’s deputy chief financial officer, said the city is planning to increase its budget to deal with many of the unforeseen costs caused by the coronavirus. This includes money for emergency management, personal protective equipment and public outreach. Projected costs for these services could reach $11 million by the end of May.
The City of Austin is expecting Great Depression-era job losses as the coronavirus continues to shut down the economy. Current forecasts predict a quarter