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The top industries and employers in the Austin metro area

Learn about the biggest industries and employers in the Austin metro area with this guide to local business.


Educational hubs like UT Austin support life sciences, creative media, and technology industries in the metro area.

Photo by @swablogguy

Nearly 2.3 million people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Austin metro area’s $222 billion economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this Austin Business 101 — your guide to our region’s top 10 key industries and 10 largest employers.

Note: When we say the Austin metro area, that refers to Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties.

The key industries

There are ten key industries that represent substantial portions of the Austin metro area’s 1.3 million-person workforce, based on data from the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Financial Services | With a population growing by ~33% each decade, Austin’s booming economy and wide talent base helps employ a fifth of the workforce in management, business, and financial operations.

Advanced Manufacturing | Semiconductor, electronics, automotive technology, and aerospace manufacturing lead the charge in this industry, which currently boasts ~70,000 employees: a ~23% increase since 2012.

Clean Technology | Austin is home to more than 200 clean tech companies, including those that make wind turbines, solar technology + research bio fuels, and energy storage products.

Corporate HQs and Regional Offices | You probably already know Austin is home to headquarters for Meta, TikTok, Google, Oracle, Apple, Tesla, and Dell — name a big company, and there’s a chance it has an office in ATX.

Creative and Digital Media | Between major events like SXSW and education hubs at UT Austin, Texas State, and St. Edward’s University, Austin’s creative media industry supports 70,000+ local employees.

Data Management | Austin’s infrastructure and low natural disaster risk helps attract data centers to the region.

Life Sciences | Research centers like the Dell Medical School help support the nearly 300 life sciences companies and 21,000+ employees in Central Texas.

Space Technology | Driven in part by graduates from UT Austin’s top-10 ranked aerospace engineering programs, Austin’s space tech industry supports ~12,000 employees making satellites, launch providers, and spacecraft components.

Automotive | You may have heard that Austin is the global headquarters for a little EV manufacturer called Tesla. Dozens of businesses supporting car manufacturing and research, including for autonomous vehicles, have set up shop in the Capital City.

Semiconductors | The tech keeps coming and it doesn’t stop coming. Between a $17 billion investment from Samsung and facilities for NXP Semiconductors and Infineon, Central Texas’ semiconductor industry employs ~60,000 people.

Of note: Although not considered key industries by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, some of the other largest industries in the city by workforce are:

  • Government (~185,600 employees)
  • Educational and health services (~133,900 employees)
  • Leisure and hospitality (~119,700 employees)
The capitol building, as seen from the grounds

The State of Texas is the largest employer in the Austin metro area, with a local workforce of more than 63,000 people.

Photo by ATXtoday

The major players

Now that we’ve established the major industries, we bet you’re curious for specific names. Whether you’re job hunting (or just “casually prospecting”), here are 10 major employers in ATX.

The State of Texas
~63,900 employees | Government | Search jobs
No surprise here. With Austin being the capital of the state, the largest employer in the city is Texas itself.

The University of Texas at Austin
~23,900 employees | Education | Search jobs
Texas’ flagship university enrolls 52,000+ new students each year.

~20,000 employees | Automotive | Search jobs
Giga Texas opened in far east Austin in 2022, prompting a slew of development in the area to support the manufacturer’s large workforce.

~19,000 employees | Retail | Search jobs
The beloved San Antonio-based grocery store is consistently ranked as one of the best places to work in the US.

City of Austin
~15,400 employees | Government | Search jobs
Austin truly is a government town. Employees across dozens of city departments keep the capital running smoothly.

Other local top employers include:

  • Ascension Seton | ~14,800 employees
  • The Federal Government | ~14,400 employees
  • Dell Technologies | ~12,000 employees
  • St. David’s HealthCare Partnership — ~11,500 employees
  • Austin Independent School District — 11,000 employees

This information is derived from the most recent data published by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

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