Tesla Surges in Austin, Employment Booming

Tesla logo | Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

In a significant display of growth, Tesla has nearly doubled its employment at its main Texas factory over the past year, now standing shoulder to shoulder with retail giant H-E-B as Austin’s largest employer.

Since relocating its headquarters to Austin in late 2021 and opening its sprawling Gigafactory Texas manufacturing facility in April 2022, Tesla’s rise has been fast and booming within the Texas job sector, reported San Antonio Express-News.

By the end of 2023, Tesla had hired close to 23,000 individuals in Austin, marking an 86% surge compared to the previous year, as per findings in a Bloomberg report sourced from the company’s annual compliance filing with the Travis County Economic Development Corp.

The Austin factory, primarily focused on producing the Model Y SUV, is also accelerating production of the stainless steel Cybertruck and gearing up for a new, more affordable crossover SUV. Tesla produced its first Cybertruck in Texas in July 2023, as reported by The Dallas Express.

However, Elon Musk’s influence extends far beyond the factory floor. His SpaceX enterprise is expanding its Starship production and launch site near Boca Chica, with additional ventures including a lithium refinery near Corpus Christi, a Neuralink facility in Austin, and operations for X and The Boring Company in various Texas locales, according to San Antonio Express-News.

In December, DX reported that Musk plans a $100 million investment through his charity called “The Foundation” in a new university in Austin that will focus on STEM subjects.

SpaceX already employs over 2,000 workers near Brownsville, and Neuralink and X are actively recruiting in Texas, with over 600 positions currently available, the majority concentrated in Austin. Plans for a lithium factory in Robstown, anticipated to employ 162 workers, signal further growth.

The steady growth places Tesla on par with H-E-B, a Texas household name, boasting over 22,000 employees in Austin last year. With Musk’s empire poised to expand even further, the Lone Star State finds itself at the forefront of innovation and industrial prowess, with Tesla’s ascent emblematic of a new era in Texas’ employment and economic landscape.

According to Bloomberg, slightly more than half of Tesla’s workforce lives within Travis County, with the typical full-time employee earning a minimum salary of $47,147. In contrast, beyond the confine of Tesla’s factory, the average salary for an Austin worker stands at $68,060.

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