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August 2TH, by Jason Tiemeier, No Comments

City of Austin: Help Wanted

City of Austin: Help Wanted

Jobs are being created in the City of Austin and hiring demand is on the rise. Yet, out of the 934 jobs available at the City of Austin, only 76 are being advertised. How so? Well, Robert Grattan reports that:


There are 934 full-time jobs waiting to be filled by the city of Austin, according to an analysis by city officials, yet only 76 positions are listed as available on the city’s job site.

Technically, there are 934.78 full-time jobs listed as vacant, according to a summary prepared by the city staff.

There isn’t a single manager of job postings across the city — each department head handles hiring — so the reason for the discrepancy between the number of vacant jobs and the number listed as available isn’t clear.

Austin Energy, which has the most vacancies listed — 179 — has had 109 positions open for more than six months, according to the city report. Those vacancies have persisted because of the industry’s high attrition rate – about 40 percent of Austin Energy’s workforce is eligible for retirement – and the complexity of the skills needed, said Austin Energy Spokesman Carlos Cordova.

Cordova said competition with energy jobs in the private sector has also driven up salaries made hiring for the department harder.

Still, while Austin Energy has 179 vacant full-time equivalencies, the department has posted only 27 open positions on the city of Austin’s job search website.

With the citywide number of 934 open slots, Austin’s government is about 8 percent vacant. The large number of open positions isn’t unusual for an organization that has a total of 12,000 positions, city officials said, but could have implications on the budgets of departments as the city begins drafting its next budget in the coming months.

“When vacancies persist for an inordinate amount of time it does raise questions about the need for additional funding,” said Council Member Chris Riley, who had asked for the summary of open positions. “We need to make sure we make use of every bit of funding that has already been authorized before we authorize more.”

The report lists the open positions as full-time equivalencies, or a position that would take 40 hours each week to fill. Of the 934.78 full-time equivalencies listed as vacant on the city report, 553.48 have been vacant for more than six months.

While some departments’ recruiting process takes a long time, such as training a new class of police cadets, the vacancies in other sections of the cities are worth looking into, Riley said.

“It certainly raises questions,” he said. “It’s not as apparent to me as why there would be a vacancy for more than six months in other departments like Code Compliance.”

Code Compliance has 17 vacancies listed, or about 19 percent of its total staff.

All these figures may play a role in the city’s upcoming budget discussions.

“We may want to look at the current funding and see if there are opportunities to reduce funding based on positions that have gone unfilled,” Riley said.


With a growing economy and local population, jobs are being created and evaporating the pool of unemployed. Opportunities are available out there, it is just a shame that they are not being communicated as efficiently as they should in order to make them available more easily to the wider public.


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