2015’s Best & Worst Texas Cities for Finding a Job
That’s also why the American Enterprise Institute crowned it “The Great American Job Machine” in early 2015. Texas was responsible for much of the net job increase in the U.S. between 2007 and 2014. And as of September, its jobless rate “has been at or below the national rate for 105 consecutive months,” according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
It’s clear from such an impressive record that Texas knows how to gracefully bounce back from a recession. By GDP, its economy has grown to become the second largest in the U.S., is comparable in size to Canada’s and would rank No. 12 in the world if Texas were a nation of its own. So for those on the job hunt, this is one of the hottest markets to start exploring.
As in any other state, however, the wealth of jobs isn’t evenly distributed across Texas. WalletHub’s analysts therefore compared 122 cities in the state to find its most promising employment hubs. We examined each city across a total of 16 metrics, ranging from the number of job opportunities to median annual income to housing and transportation costs. The results, a detailed methodology and expert commentary can be found below.
‘Job Market’ Rank
‘Socioeconomic Environment’ Rank
|3||University Park, TX||63.82||37||1|
|4||Flower Mound, TX||63.17||7||21|
|5||Sugar Land, TX||63.03||13||8|
|9||Lake Jackson, TX||61.56||15||13|
|18||North Richland Hills, TX||59.21||16||53|
|21||Round Rock, TX||58.86||20||36|
|30||Cedar Hill, TX||57.56||17||83|
|35||New Braunfels, TX||56.73||33||43|
|38||Deer Park, TX||56.39||57||7|
|41||League City, TX||55.72||42||31|
|46||Missouri City, TX||53.95||62||25|
|47||Haltom City, TX||53.74||40||98|
|50||Balch Springs, TX||53.12||32||122|
|51||Cedar Park, TX||53.01||71||24|
|53||Wichita Falls, TX||52.89||61||45|
|54||Big Spring, TX||52.61||54||74|
|55||Farmers Branch, TX||52.55||56||67|
|59||La Porte, TX||51.98||85||22|
|60||The Colony, TX||51.86||69||49|
|T-62||San Angelo, TX||51.39||73||47|
|68||Corpus Christi, TX||50.65||72||72|
|72||College Station, TX||50.25||102||6|
|87||Harker Heights, TX||48.51||105||15|
|88||San Juan, TX||48.48||80||107|
|93||Fort Worth, TX||48.21||89||103|
|97||San Marcos, TX||47.76||99||51|
|100||Grand Prairie, TX||47.25||95||96|
|101||Port Arthur, TX||47.23||88||113|
|104||Del Rio, TX||46.50||108||48|
|105||San Antonio, TX||46.42||106||59|
|107||Eagle Pass, TX||45.92||103||73|
|114||San Benito, TX||42.89||114||105|
|119||El Paso, TX||41.22||120||54|
|120||Texas City, TX||41.08||117||110|
|121||Copperas Cove, TX||40.86||119||95|
Ask the Experts
As the world’s sixth largest oil producer, Texas’ energy industry has been credited as being largely responsible for lifting the state out of recession and creating employment. But, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the state boasts a much more diverse job market today, after adding jobs in nine out of 11 major industries in the past year. It is now also one of the states with the fastest growing tech industries.
For additional insight, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in on the employment future of the Lone Star State, the challenges that job seekers face and the policies that help to level the playing field for disadvantaged workers. Click on the experts’ profiles below to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:
- Will the IT industry still play a major role in Texas’s economy in the coming decades? What other fields are expected to grow the most in the near future?
- Which are the biggest challenges faced by Texas’s job seekers today?
- Looking just within Texas, which are the most common mistakes job seeker make when seeking employment?
- What types of programs have proven effective in helping unemployed persons to find work in Texas?
- Should benefits be extended in Texas for unemployed people who have been out of work for a long period?
- Should unemployed people from Texas that receive help from state and local administration be required to do something in order to earn their unemployment benefits? If so, what?
In order to identify the best Texas cities for finding employment, WalletHub analysts compared 122 cities in the state (other cities were not included in the sample due to limited data access) across two key dimensions, including “Job Market” and “Socioeconomic Environment.” For our sample, we chose each city according to the size of its population. Please note that “city” refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas.
Next, we compiled 16 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights.
To obtain the final rankings, we attributed a score between 0 and 100 to each metric. We then calculated the weighted sum of the scores and used the overall result to rank the cities. Together, the points attributed to the two major dimensions add up to 100 points.
Job Market - Total Points: 67
- Job Opportunities (number of job openings minus number of unemployed persons): Double Weight (~14.89 Points)
- Employment Growth (rate of annual job growth, adjusted for working-age population growth): Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Monthly Median Starting Salary: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Unemployment Rate for High School Graduates: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Unemployment Rate for Residents with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Industry Variety: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Full Time Employment (number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees): Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
- Percentage of Persons Employed but Living Under Poverty Line: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Percentage of Persons with Disabilities in the Workforce: Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
Socioeconomic Environment - Total Points: 33
- Median Annual Income (adjusted for cost of living index): Full Weight (~5.5 Points)
- Time Spent Working & Commuting (average commute time plus length of average workday): Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
- Benefits (percentage of employees with private health insurance): Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
- Housing Costs ((median annual household income divided by median house price) plus (median annual household income divided by price of rent for a two-bedroom apartment)): Full Weight (~5.5 Points)
- Annual Transportation Costs: Full Weight (~5.5 Points)
- Safety (Crime rate): Full Weight (~5.5 Points)
- Social Life (number of cafés per capita plus number of nightlife options per capita): Full Weight (~5.5 Points)
Sources: Data used to create these rankings were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Areavibes, Indeed and Yelp.
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