Over 150 people move to Austin, TX every day, making it the fastest growing city in the US. With warm weather, friendly dogs, a great business climate, and more breakfast tacos than you can shake a stick at, there’s no wonder why.
Located in Central Texas Hill Country, Austin, TX is a unique reservoir of arts, education, and eclectic people. Though the city has grown from a sleepy college town to one of the country’s largest city, its residents have still managed to “Keep Austin Weird.” Referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, it’s not hard to walk down any given street on any given night of the week and see a great band playing.
Austin also hosts some of the country’s foremost festivals, including SXSW, ACL, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, all of which contribute to the growing amount of talent relocating to the city. Its business climate enjoys the open policies and low taxes that the rest of Texas has, but it also includes the innovative and hustling nature of the slew of technology startups moving here. ‘Silicon Hills’ is quickly becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurial talent.
At the center of Austin is the University of Texas, which now enrolls over 50,000 students. Saturdays in fall are electric events marked by huge crowds dressed in burnt orange. The school world renowned, topping national rankings in computer science, accounting, and engineering.
Austin is also a unique culinary experience. With events like Truck by TruckWest, the city is heaven for food trailers, with over 1,400 food trailers registered in Travis County alone. Of course, you can also find some of the best barbecue and breakfast tacos in the world in Austin.
There are many reasons people move to Austin, TX. An Austin-based startup, LawnStarter, points out six of them:
Texas has quickly earned a reputation as one of the most profitable states to do business in the US. It deserves this title for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest contributing factors is the flourishing tech industry in its capital city, Austin.
Home to the University of Texas, Austin regularly graduates a plentiful supply of eager students ready to join the workforce and put their knowledge to use. A large number of people visit Austin and never want to leave, and UT students are not impervious to the city’s magnetic pull either.
The University of Texas supplies all areas of the world with accomplished graduates, but a lot of them fall in love with Austin to such an extent that they decide to remain and launch their careers in the same city they received their degrees. This on top of the daily migration of 150 potential employees helps explain why Austin has such a large number of thriving businesses.
One of the biggest reasons Austin is such an attractive spot to start a career is because of the high tech wages provided to workers and the relatively low cost of living. The average tech job in Austin pays over $93,000, but the average housing cost is barely $200K. Not only are homes in Austin affordable, but so is office space, which currently rents at about $25 per square foot.
The venture capital provided by the companies listed in this infographic — over $300 million in the first quarter of 2014 alone — ensures that startup businesses in Austin continue to grow and provide its residents with valuable services and job opportunities.
This infographic acknowledges the companies and supplementary resources that come together to make the existence of startups in Austin possible.
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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.
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (aka Silicon Valley)
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California
- Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
- Raleigh-Cary North Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- New York City
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
- 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!