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Austin tops list of best performing cities in America

Austin, Texas, skyline, downtown
Austin is back on top, thanks to a booming tech sector and heavy population growth.  Photo by Ed Schipul/Flickr
Justin Terveen Dallas skyline
Dallas ranked seventh on the list of best-performing cities thanks to a diverse economy and strong job growth.  Photo by Justin Terveen
Houston skyline downtown at night
Houston dropped four spots from last year, but its energy sector keeps it in the top 10, at No. 8.
Austin, Texas, skyline, downtown
Justin Terveen Dallas skyline
Houston skyline downtown at night

In a new study examining the best performing cities in the United States — those booming metros where jobs are being created and sustained — Texas has once again flexed its muscle. Three Texas cities rank in the top 10 and seven in the top 25, including Austin, the top-performing city in the country.

Austin re-established itself as the top city in the country after falling to second last year. Thanks to a booming tech sector and Austin’s chamber of commerce, the city and surrounding area rates among the best for job and wage growth.

Dallas-Plano-Irving jumped up seven spots since last year to come in at No. 7, while Houston dropped four spots to sit right behind Dallas at No. 8. Dallas’ diverse economy and strong year-to-year growth from July 2012 to July 2013 helped boost it above Houston.

Meanwhile, Houston’s energy market continues to propel the region as more jobs pour into the city to meet the demand created by oil and gas companies.

The four other Texas metros to make the top 25 are San Antonio-New Braunfels (12), Fort Worth-Arlington (16), Corpus Christi (17) and Laredo (22). The next-best-represented states were Colorado and California, with four metros each. Provo-Orem, Utah, and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City round out the top three after Austin.

Milken Institute puts out the annual index, which includes measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros, but it does not factor in quality-of-life metrics such as commute times or housing costs. Employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality, according to the institute's website.

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