Forbes: Austin is Third Best US Metro In Job Growth

Forbes Names Austin, TX Third Best Metro Area for Job Growth

May 12, 2014 | Posted in Austin, Economy, Statistics | By

For those of us who live in Austin, TX, we already know how great of a city this is. How many times have we all seen the memes and blog posts on the theme of thanks for coming visit, now go home and don’t move here?

Some of the allure of the city is more focused on the culture or entertainment options / night life. Surely, those are amazing aspects of the city and the surrounding areas.

Another amazing feature this city offers is a consistently growing economy. One that contributes to both the state and national economies lucratively.

As a city that started out “weird” and cut our teeth with high tech startups, Austin is in fact a truly unique locale. Tech continues to be a driving force, both through local startups, large companies such as Apple and Facebook opening offices here, and via several well known tech conferences such as South By Southwest Interactive.

Hand in hand with that growing tech scene, we have one of the best job markets in all of the United States. We regularly find that our unemployment rate is a couple of percentage points below the national average. In fact, as of March 2014, Austin had the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in the country!

Forbes: Austin is #3 in Job Growth

The logical conclusion of such a low unemployment rate is that we are also creating jobs, and a lot of them. This was validated by Forbes in late April in their article titled The Best Cities for Jobs 2014.

First, let’s review how Forbes has chosen the frontrunners in their analysis, by way of the excerpt below:

Our rankings are based on short-, medium- and long-term job creation, going back to 2002, and factor in momentum — whether growth is slowing or accelerating.

So in other words, this isn’t just a measure of how “hot” the market is today. The low unemployment rate covers that measure. It looks at how we have done in the past 12 years, reaching all the way back before the huge recession hit us a few years ago.

It also takes into account momentum. Cities with negative job growth would have a downward drag on their ranking in this system, even if they’ve seen massive job creation in the past.

Here is the list of the top 10 metro areas they called out, in rank order.

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (aka Silicon Valley)
  2. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California
  3. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
  4. Raleigh-Cary North Carolina
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  7. New York City
  8. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
  9. Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
  10. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

Texas Shining Across the Board

In looking at this list, what jumps out at me immediately is that Texas sports three of the top 10 metro areas for jobs. While there are a variety of reasons why these cities are so successful, we can attribute the success at least in part by the business friendly climate in the state of Texas as a whole.

Considering how the Bay area has rebounded so aggressively to land in the top two spots after floundering for several years during the downturn, it is quite impressive to see Austin holding strong at #3 overall.

So on behalf of the locals, “Awesome, but shhhhh…don’t tell anyone how great it is. The traffic is already stacked up enough.”

If you’re stuck for a job and don’t mind relocating, though, Austin is one of the best places without having to pay Bay Area prices for cost of living that you can consider. And if you have experience fixing major traffic problems in a city growing at amazing rates, we’ll welcome you with open arms.

Thanks for reading!