Two Texas metro areas lead list of best cities to find jobs

The Best Cities For Jobs 2018: Dallas And Austin Lead The Surging South

... For Jobs in the 2018 edition of our annual ranking. After years of domination by the tech-driven San Francisco area, Dallas-Plano-Irving has secured the No. 1 spot for the last two years by dint of consistency: 2.8% job growth last year, 19.6% since 2012 and an impressive 25.6% since 2006. Its 2.02% population growth last year is the highest rate of any of the 10 largest metro areas while net in-migration trails only retirement haven Phoenix among the big cities. Simply put, this Energizer bunny just doesn’t stop.

Big D’s domination is all the more secure because of the diverse sources of its job growth. Dallas has logged double-digit percentage job growth since 2012 in almost every major economic sector we measured, from information to construction, energy, finance, and professional and business services. Key to Dallas’ success: It’s a great value proposition, with affordable housing, a favorable regulatory climate, low taxes and an increasing array of cultural amenities beyond the Dallas Cowboys.

Perhaps nothing proves this more than the large number of companies that have either moved whole hog to the Big D or sited significant operations there in recent years, including the likes of Toyota’s North American headquarters and Jacobs Engineering, both from Southern California, as well as Jamba Juice, Pei Wei and JetSuite. Many more have announced major expansions there, including Boeing, Oki Data and Luis Vuitton.
Texas may not be the role model for most regions, but the Lone Star State’s growth formula has formidable logic for areas that don’t have the huge venture capital connections of the Bay Area. Second-ranked Austin, Texas, is certainly a booming tech hub, but its rapid job growth — 3.4% last year and 39% since 2006 — is more diversified than commonly believed. In fact, the big driver in terms of high-wage jobs is not tech but professional and business services, an area in which employment has grown 37.1% since 2006.

Like Dallas, Austin’s expansion is paced by strong population growth. The metro area last year had the strongest population increase and rate of domestic in-migration of any in the country with a population over a million. This population growth has translated into many things, most particularly growth in retail sales, construction jobs, financial services and trade, helping boost diverse jobs growth.
To give you an idea of the scale of Austin's growth,  When I Went to the University of Texas in the mid 60's the Austin population was around 250,000.  It has more than quadrupled in size since then.

While the Austin and Dallas areas lead growth in Texas, the population is growing elsewhere too.  The Permians Basin with the cities of Midland and Odessa have one of the lowest jobless rates in the country.  San Antonio's metro has expanded to include several smaller towns in the area.  Traveling on I-35 from Austin to San Antonio is virtually all urban now.  Houston continues its growth and the city of Corpus Christi is expanding as the port there becomes a hub for exports of oil and gas.


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