Imma Let You Finish, But Dallas Has the Best Jobs of ALL Time

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Nov 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Job Trends, Job Search Tips, Candidate

In the largest metropolitan areas of America, those at the top of the economic ladder come from two areas – West Coast and Southern. The Southern region flourishes across a wide array of industries and is fed by an extremely strong, domestic immigration, along with a welcoming business climate. In the West, the economy is fed mainly by high-end business services and technology that is clustered around highly desirable, yet expensive urban locations.

While this is the case, the trend lines are definitely favoring the former approach, which has been epitomized by the 2018 edition of America’s Best City For Jobs. After several years of being dominated by the tech-heavy area of San Francisco, now the Dallas-Plano-Irving area has reached the top spot for job seekers. In fact, it has held this position for the previous two years with pretty impressive consistency. Consider this – the area has experienced:

  • 2.02 percent population growth since 2017 (which is higher than all of the ten largest metro areas)

  • 2.8 percent job growth rate in 2017

  • 19.6 percent job growth rate since 2012

  • 25.6 percent job growth rate since 2006

To put it simply, this area of the world has been compared to the Energizer bunny; it just doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

The Dallas’s area domination is even more secure today thanks diverse job growth sources that lead to an excellent job market. In fact, Dallas has successfully logged impressive job growth (in the double digits) since 2012 in virtually every major economic sector that was measured, including business services, professional services, finance, energy, construction, and information. The key to much of the success Dallas has seen is the great value proposition. People have access to affordable housing, low taxes, a regulatory climate and an ever-growing array of amazing cultural amenities that go way beyond the professional football team – the Dallas Cowboys.

There is perhaps nothing that helps to prove this more than the huge number of companies that have either moved their entire operations to the Dallas area or just sited most of their operations to this area in recent years. This includes companies such as Louis Vuitton, Oki Data, Boeing, Jet Suite, Pei Wei, Jamba Juice and the North American headquarters of Toyota that are looking for candidates. 

Ranking Methods Used

The rankings were established based on the creation of long-, short- and medium-term jobs that go back all the way to 2006. And the rankings factor in the concept of momentum – regardless of whether growth is accelerating or slowing down. There are separate rankings that have been complied for the 71 biggest metropolitan statistical areas in America, which include nonfarm employment that reaches more than 450,000, which are currently the focus, in addition to metro areas considered “medium-sized – with 150K to 450K nonfarm jobs, and smaller areas, which include fewer than 150K nonfarm jobs. This was done to help make the comparisons much more relevant for each of the categories explored.

Texas is Setting the Bar

While most regions may not consider Texas a “role model,” there’s no question that the growth formula of the Lone Star State has quite a bit of formidable logic for locations that don’t have the bigger venture capital connections found in the Bay Area (San Francisco). Coming in second, Austin, Texas, is definitely a growing tech hub; however, the fast job growth rate of 3.4 percent last year and 39 percent since 2006, is much more diversified than what most people believe. In fact, the biggest driver regarding high-paying jobs isn’t tech, but instead business and professional services. In fact, employment in this area has gone up by 37.1 percent since 2006. This is a great area for job seekers.

Similar to Dallas, the expansion in Austin is enhanced by the significant population growth in the area. Last year, the metro area experienced the largest population increase and rage of in-migration domestically than any other area in the country – reaching a population of more than one million. This population growth has resulted in many things – with the most notable being an increase in growth in trade, financial services, construction jobs, and retail sales.

However, you don’t have to actually be living in the Lone Star state to enjoy all the growth seen. There are other affordable areas, too, such as number three on the list – the Nashville, Davidson, Murfreesboro, and Franklin, Tennessee area, or number five on the list, Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia North Carolina, or even number six, the Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford Florida area. All of these areas have enjoyed the same trend of population growth and an increase of in-migration from other parts of the country. Each of these areas has also seen strong growth in the tech-sector, with Orlando now adding the coveted STEM jobs at a much faster rate than even metros in the Bay Area. In fact, Central Florida may emerge as a contenting tech competitor in the next few years, with this being even more possible thanks to low taxes, a benign business climate, and affordable housing.

The High-End Tech Hubs

However, even though there is quite a bit of competition and higher costs, the biggest three technology hubs on the West Coast are still present in the top 10 regarding job growth. At fourth place – and at no surprise – is Silicon Valley, which is made up of San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara. Even though the expansion has slowed down some, with just three percent job growth in 2017, it’s still growing. Professional, business and finance sectors are the areas that appear to be slowing down; however, there is still quite a bit of strong job growth in the information sector – which includes businesses like Apple, Netflix, Facebook and Google, which was up by 11 percent in 2017 and up 59 percent since 2006.

A similar pattern can be seen in the eighth area on the list, which is the area of San Francisco, Redwood City, and South San Francisco. This has become the urban annex to the Valley. However, there are some signs that the area is slowing down, as it was at number two on the list in 2017. Last year, the growth in the information job sector was just 8.7 percent, which is down from the 12 percent pace that was seen in 2006. Professional and business services saw a four percent increase in job growth, but it's down from the rate of 5.6 percent that was seen over the past decade.

In ninth place, you will find Seattle. Here the professional business services and information sector are still growing at a pretty healthy pace – but a bit slower. There’s no question though, the jobs picture in Seattle (much like the Bay Area) are still the envy of virtually all other regions. The main issue that is looming over these locations is the higher costs. In the Bay Area, this is something that has slowed down overall population growth, and that has helped to accelerate out-migration. As time continues to pass, many worry that Seattle may also be on the way to pricing out some new residents. Some even worry that long-time residents may leave, too.

Losing Ground

There is quite a bit of information “out there” regarding the inevitable and coming ascendancy of the largest global cities. However, when it comes to job growth, the three biggest ones in America – (3) Chicago, (2) Los Angeles and (1) New York, are thriving. While New York is number 24 on the list, it saw a job growth rate of 1.7 percent in 2017, and since 2006, 19.5 percent. This employment expansion has been enhanced by various high-wage sectors, such as business and professional services, in addition to information, as well as the low-wage fields, such as hospitality and leisure.

However, New York has been slowing a big after the rapid pace that was seen in 2010 – especially in the sectors of business, professional and information. Additionally, all at the same time, there is quite a bit of demographic evidence because 2010 showed quite a bit of population growth, which was impressive earlier in the decade, but now it ranks one of the lowest in the entire U.S. The reinvented hipster capital – yes, Brooklyn – suffered a bit in 2017 seeing its first decline in total population since back in 2006. While the resurgence is assured, it is expected that slower growth is going to be seen in the near future.

Unfortunately, Chicago and Los Angeles seem to be doing even worse. In fact, at 48th on the list was LA, with just a 1.3 percent job growth rate in 2017. While this area has expanded employment in lower-wage categories, such as transportation, leisure, and hospitality, it hasn’t in the higher wage arenas.

Similar to NYC, the demographics of LA have clearly reflected this slow-down period with quite a bit of out-migration and a population rate increase of just 0.13 percent in 2017. This is one of the lowest in the entire country. In fact, the rate of outmigration for the LA area was it’s highest in the 2016-2017 year – reaching 40 percent. Due to the regions high costs and the absence of higher wage jobs, the potential of growth is also pretty grim.

However, something that is pretty common with urban economies is the fact that things could be worse. Chicago (number 55 on the list) has a pretty weak 0.4 percent rate of job growth for 2017. The critical professional and business sector is failing, which means that the growth it saw in the past is simply nonexistent today.

Job Growth Doesn’t Lie

Searching for thriving areas to move into is a top priority for many millennial candidates. After all, they want to go where the good paying, high-wage jobs are. They want to step into an excellent job market. Today, and according to the study information reflected here, there’s no question that the Dallas area has come out on top. This area checks all the boxes and provides those moving to the area with an opportunity to secure a job in a low-cost area that will pay well and help them live a comfortable life. In the long run, this is going to be a city that continues to grow and thrive thanks to the opportunities abound. Contact our Dallas area office to find your perfect job.

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