Reaping the impact of the pandemic, the Rural Capital Area (RCA) and Travis County experienced detrimental changes in employment over the course of 2020. Counties in the RCA, apart from Blanco County, recorded the worst numbers in the past 10-years in terms of employment change and employment growth rate. The table below displays the change between 2019 and 2020 for each county.


2019-2020 % Change

2019-2020 Employment Change

Lee County



Fayette County



Llano County



Hays County



Caldwell County



Bastrop County



Williamson County



Burnet County



Blanco County



RCA Region (without Travis County)



Travis County



Both Hays and Williamson County has the most significant net decrease in employment (-1,686 and -1,880, respectively) but did not lead in percentage loss. The largest loss in growth occurred in Lee (-14%), Fayette (-6.1%), and Llano County (-4.9%). Counter to regional trends, Blanco County added 92 new jobs, equivalent to 2.7% growth.

Rural Capital Area Net Employment All Industries 2019 to 2020

From a longer-run perspective over the past 10 years, both the RCA and Travis County have greatly expanded in employment. However, they experienced growth at different times over the course of the last decade. In 2019 each County had substantial progresses resulting in the RCA expanding 4.4% (or 13,362 jobs). Travis County experienced its largest expansion in 2015 with 4.8% total growth and 31,762 net new jobs. Despite the areas having years of positive development, the same cannot be said for 2020. The RCA, overall, fell -1.8%, equivalent to -5,923 jobs. Travis County resulted in -3.4% change, or -26,351 jobs.

The worldwide pandemic of 2020 has greatly impacted employment in nearly all industries, but 2020 alone is not a sufficient indicator of the region’s employment progression. Years prior to 2020 produced positive employment growth throughout the RCA region, a trend that will likely pick back up in 2021 and subsequent years.

Rural Capital Area Total Employment Growth 2019 to 2020