Tesla is now Austin’s largest private employer

Tesla has established itself as the city of Austin’s largest private employer, with the automaker’s workforce expanding 86% in 2023.

According to a new report from the Travis County economic development program, Tesla’s workforce stood at an impressive 22,777 at the end of last year, compared to 12,277 employees at the end of 2022. This tremendous growth allowed Tesla to surpass the previous top employer, local retail grocery store giant H-E-B. (via Bloomberg)

The most recent indication of the number of Tesla employees in Austin came back in September 2023 when Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at Giga Texas, revealed there are over 20,000 workers at the factory on a daily basis. 

Tesla first ventured into Texas with the construction of Giga Texas, which broke ground in mid-2020. Not long after Tesla moved their corporate headquarters to Texas from Palo Alto, California, firmly setting down roots in the Lone Star State.

Giga Texas opened less than two years later to begin production of the Model Y. Since then the factory has been a constant construction site, with expansions and supporting facilities going up around the massive 2,500 acre site, along with many changes to the inside as well. The factory now produces 4680 battery cells, and of course the Cybertruck.

Tesla and Musk still have even grander plans for Giga Texas, with the factory eventually expected to employ over 60,000 workers when Cybertruck production is fully ramped and production of the automaker’s next generation EV begins.

Musk’s reach in Austin and Texas extends well beyond Tesla, with a footprint in the state that spans multiple industries and technologies. From SpaceX’s operations and Starlink satellite factory to The Boring Company’s infrastructure projects and a lithium refinery, Musk’s ventures are contributing an estimated $11.1 billion to the state’s economy every year.

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