Best Cities for Jobs

texasIf you're looking for a job, the best way to improve your odds is to go where the jobs are.

Texas is the place to go, according to the 2009 Best Performing Cities Index complied by the Milken Institute. The index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary and technology growth.

Four of the top five and nine of the top 20 metro areas listed are in Texas.

During my job search in the past year and a half I've been to the top two areas: No. 1 Austin-Round Rock, and No. 2 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, and to No. 12 Fort Worth-Arlington, and No. 13 Dallas-Plano-Irving.

While housing and other expenses were cheap, I wasn't entirely sold on moving there if a job offer did come my way.

But if you can stand the Texas heat, then the Lone Star state could use you.

Somehow Texas has weathered the recession fairly well, with statewide unemployment at 8.2% while the national rate is 10.2%.

Austin has a strong technology sector. It's home to Dell Computer, has a university and a happening music scene. It's probably the most progressive city in the state.

Killeen is next to Ford Hood, the largest U.S. Army base, and keeps plenty of soldiers employed.

The state also has a lot of business in energy, from oil to gas and wind power.

The index lists 200 metro areas. Here are the top 20:


  • Austin, TX

  • Killeen, TX

  • Salt Lake City, UT

  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

  • Houston, TX

  • Durham, N.C.

  • Olympia, WA

  • Huntsville, AL

  • Lafayette, LA

  • Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

  • San Antonio, TX

  • Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

  • Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX

  • El Paso, TX

  • Wichita, KS

  • Corpus Christi, TX

  • Seattle, WA

  • Baton Rouge, LA

  • Tulsa, OK

  • Greeley, CO

Texas must be doing something right to sustain and create jobs. If nothing else, you're sure to find great BBQ there.

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