San Antonio Economic Indicators
June 16, 2021
The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index strengthened in April as payrolls expanded and the unemployment rate ticked down. Local consumer spending declined but remained above pre-COVID-19 levels. Home sales activity was sluggish in April, and COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to decrease.
The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index—a broad measure of economic activity in the metro—expanded at a healthy annualized 7.4 percent in April (Chart 1). Recent strength in the index can be attributed to strong job growth and a lower unemployment rate.
Unemployment Rate Ticks Down
The metro’s unemployment rate declined to 6.0 percent in April, the lowest since March 2020. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, while the nation’s jobless rate ticked up slightly to 6.1 percent (Chart 2).
Recent Job Growth Largely Positive Across Sectors
Net payrolls in San Antonio expanded an annualized 7.0 percent (17,790 jobs) in the three months ending in April, with positive performances across most sectors (Chart 3). Leisure and hospitality led the growth (26.7 percent, or 6,875 jobs) and was followed by construction (16.3 percent, or 1,690 jobs), other services (7.1 percent, or 600 jobs) and government (7.0 percent, or 2,880 jobs). Industries that posted net declines were information (1.3 percent, or 60 jobs) and mining (0.5 percent, or 10 jobs). In March and April 2020 combined, 130,511 jobs were lost as the pandemic hit. As of April 2021, 74.9 percent of those jobs had been recovered, and overall, the number of jobs was 3.0 percent below prepandemic levels.
Since early February 2021, consumer spending has remained generally above January 2020 levels, except for the brief dip to below prepandemic levels during the week of Winter Storm Uri in mid-February. While spending fell somewhat in the most-recent weeks, as of May 16, it was up 16.1 percent relative to January 2020 in Bexar County and up 12.1 percent in the state (Chart 4).
Existing-home sales activity in April increased a slight 0.1 percent in San Antonio and 0.2 percent in the state (Chart 5). In the first four months of 2021, the metro’s home sales were up 16.4 percent compared with the same period in 2020. At the state level, home sales were up 15.8 percent. The median price of homes sold in April was $274,978 in the metro—a 10.6 percent increase year over year. In Texas, the median home price in April was $289,936, a 12.7 percent jump from the previous year.
The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Antonio has been on the decline since peaking at 1,661 on Jan. 25 this year (Chart 6). In Texas, the number hospitalized topped at 13,977 on Jan. 17. As of June 8, the numbers were 144 in San Antonio and 1,545 in Texas.
NOTE: Data may not match previously published numbers due to revisions.
About San Antonio Economic Indicators
Questions can be addressed to Judy Teng at email@example.com. San Antonio Economic Indicators is published every month during the week after state and metro employment data are released.