AUSTIN (KXAN) - The U.S. Department of Labor released some encouraging numbers when it comes to job growth in central Texas. Statistics this month show that Austin is one of about a dozen metro areas in the country that have regained the jobs lost during the recession.
From 2007 to 2012, Austin ranks number one for percentage job growth, a gain of 7.5 percent. According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, 90 percent of growth is coming from the small business sector.
Nicole Zinn rings a high-pitched bell on a bike in her southeast Austin store Rocket Electrics. But that's not all that's ringing in her shop. Phones are, too, and business is buzzing.
The all-electric bicycle store opened last year along East Riverside Drive. A growing area was the perfect spot for a business hoping to do the same.
"Over the past year we've grown a lot," Zinn said, "We went from, 'You guys do what?' to, 'Oh, you're the people that have the electric bikes.'"
The growth Zinn is seeing isn't as unique as her store, thanks to a friendly business climate in Austin.
Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Dave Porter, says in his 30 years with the Chamber, job creation efforts are at an all-time high. He says the business climate in the Austin-metro is a friendly one. He credits a talented work force, good quality of life, and availability of office space.
Zinn says she can identify with those claims.
"That's why we're here, and that's why we're growing," Zinn said, "I moved back to Texas from California after seeing the decline of the business environment in California. The cost was getting to be out of this world."
While things are falling into place for many job-seekers and business owners like Zinn, Porter says the Austin Chamber's job isn't done.
"I still believe that there are a large number of people that are unemployed, under-employed or quit looking for a job," Porter said.
The Business Journals noted five other metro areas in Texas that have more private-sector jobs now than before the recession, according to the report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Those include Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, McAllen-Edinburg and San Antonio.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …