Our K-shaped recovery: Dallas has regained almost all its lost jobs of the past year — if you exclude leisure and hospitality losses


If you exclude all those who are still unemployed, they are ahead. 🤦🏻‍♂️

The pandemic economy has created sharply uneven outcomes, devastating some industries and families while improving the prospects for others.

The recovery is proceeding in a similar K-shaped fashion with some job sectors mired in high unemployment while others are posting strong growth.

Such disparities extend to regions, too. Consider this: By the end of December, the Dallas-Plano-Irving metro division had recovered nearly all its lost jobs over the previous 12 months — if the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector were excluded.

That’s a big caveat, to be sure. Leisure and hospitality workers accounted for 8.3% of the area’s nonfarm employment in December, the equivalent of 226,100 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The sector includes restaurants, hotels, arts and entertainment, and employers in those fields cut 49,000 jobs last year as COVID-19 forced many venues to close or restrict operating hours. The decline was just shy of the annual net loss in total jobs for Dallas-Plano-Irving last year.

While Dallas regained nearly all its non-leisure positions, the Austin metro did even better. Excluding leisure and hospitality, Austin grew jobs by 1.6% last year, according to data from ThinkWhy, a Dallas-based software services company whose products compare top talent and salaries in the U.S.