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- July 24, 2014

Austin Second on Forbes’ List of Best Cities for Job Growth

Everyone knows that Austin is a boomtown for jobs these days, but few realized just how far the city’s explosive growth would carry us.

Turns out, we’ve landed atop Forbes’ list of the best cities in America for job growth, coming in a fraction behind the retiree’s oasis of Naples, Florida.

Despite sharing nearly identical projected growth rates at 4.1 percent, Austin still has an edge on Naples in the form of lower unemployment and higher median household income. Forbes pegged Naples at 5.4 percent unemployment, with median income $56,759. In Austin, we’re enjoying at 4.1 percent unemployment rate and a median household income of $58,932.

So, what gives? Why wasn’t Austin #1 on Forbes’ list? We’ll let them explain it…

Austin, Tex. finished in second, a shade behind Naples, when it comes to metros with the best job growth prospects over the next three years. Companies flock to Austin to take advantage of the strong workforce options, which are continuously replenished by the University of Texas at Austin. The state’s flagship campus has more than 50,000 students, as well as 24,000 faculty and staff. People are moving to Austin to chase the jobs, as the metro boasts the third highest net migration rate in the U.S. over the last five years.

Er, okay? So they don’t exactly explain why Austin, with lower unemployment and higher median income, somehow ranked behind Naples, but they do credit Austin with being a much younger town with a lot more tech action, particularly in the mobile sector. Naples may be at the forefront of Florida’s economic recovery, but at least we have our nifty pocket devices.

Meanwhile, other Texas cities to make the list include, surprisingly, McAllen in third place, Dallas in fifth place, Houston in ninth place and San Antonio in 10th. Among them, the highest unemployment rate is 5 percent, a number shared by Dallas and Houston.

Not too shabby, Texas. Not shabby at all.

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Photo: Flickr user Andreas Klinke Johannsen, creative commons licensed.