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Austin outranks major West Coast city in new projection of office job growth

Austin outranks major West Coast city in new projection of office jobs

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Austin is expected to see a 2.6 percent rise in office jobs this year. Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection

It's Bat City versus the City by the Bay in a new projection for the growth of office jobs in 2020.

Commercial real estate services company CBRE predicts Austin will see a 2.6 percent rise in office jobs this year compared with last year. That puts Austin in first place for anticipated office-job growth in 2020 among U.S. markets with at least 37.5 million square feet of office space. Office jobs include those in the tech, professional services, and legal sectors.

Austin edges out San Francisco for the top spot in CBRE’s forecast, published January 9. The company predicts a 2.5 percent increase in San Francisco office jobs this year versus last year.

Personal finance website WalletHub recently ranked San Francisco and Austin third and fourth, respectively, on its list of the U.S. best cities to find a job. 

“It’s not surprising that the forecast for Austin is extremely bright, and we expect that technology companies and professional firms will still drive the demand for more [offices],” Troy Holme, executive vice president in the Austin office of CBRE, says in a January 22 release.

In November, Austin’s unemployment rate decreased to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in October and 2.7 percent in September, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Austin’s jobless rate in November was the third lowest among the state’s metro areas; Dallas-Fort Worth’s rate was at 3 percent, while Houston’s was at 3.6 percent.

Dallas appears at No. 3 on CBRE’s list of hot markets for office jobs in 2020. The company forecasts a 2.1 percent lift this year for growth of office jobs in the Big D versus last year. One notch below, at No. 4, is Houston (1.9 percent). At No. 5 is Orlando, Florida (1.7 percent).

“Tech, talent, and low taxes continue to fuel Texas’ rising status as an inevitable, leading force in the U.S. economy,” Ian Anderson, Americas head of office research at CBRE, says in the release. “2020 will be another year where companies and people from around the country relocate to the Lone Star State, leaving most of the rest of the country in envy of the growth in Dallas, Houston, and Austin.”

CBRE says the growth of office jobs was more robust in the top U.S. markets last year than it is estimating for 2020. Dallas (5.7 percent) leads the 2019 list, followed by San Francisco (5.2 percent), Seattle (4.2 percent), Houston (3.7 percent), and Charlotte, North Carolina (3.6 percent).