Austin has always seemed to hold together when the rest of the country’s unraveling economically, but Lori Hawkins in the Austin American-Statesman notes that “area’s booming job market has slowed to a three-year low, and its once sizzling real estate market is cooling fast” as the rest of the U.S. slides into recession. However, she argues that Austin’s economy should be relatively stable “even if the national economy tanks.”[Link]
Among the cushions: Strong local companies such as Silicon Laboratories Inc. are expanding, and the region’s biggest investment ever, the new $3.5 billion Samsung Electronics chip plant, is cranking out products at an accelerating pace, bolstering the region’s important semiconductor industry. A skilled local work force continues to attract new companies. Google Inc., for example, is on the verge of opening an Austin development center. Venture capital continues to fund promising startup companies in fields ranging from cutting-edge semiconductor design to Web software tools, creating the foundation for more job growth. Austin Ventures, the dominant source of money for local startups, is raising money for a $600 million fund, its first new fund since 2005.