As we exit one of the biggest decades of growth in the city's history, a new study underscores just how much Austin’s job market continues to roar into the 2020s.
The study, published January 3 by personal finance website WalletHub, ranks Austin as the fourth best U.S. city for job hunters in 2020. Scottsdale, Arizona, sits in the No. 1 spot, followed by South Burlington, Vermont, and San Francisco.
For the study, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 31 key indicators of job-market strength. Those factors range from job opportunities to employment growth to average starting salary.
Here are Austin’s top marks:
- Unemployment rate, No. 1
- Disability-friendly employers, No. 6
- Employment growth, No. 6
- Employment outlook, No. 6
- Average starting salary, No. 12
- Worker engagement, No. 12
- Job security, No. 13
- Dating friendliness, No. 14
In November 2019, the Austin metro area tied with Amarillo for the second lowest unemployment rate (2.5 percent) among Texas metro areas. Meanwhile, the Austin area keeps generating jobs, with 39,600 net new positions added from October 2018 to October 2019.
Among the big businesses ramping up their hiring in Austin are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
While Austin scores well in a number of job-related categories in the WalletHub study, it fares poorly in several others including housing affordability (No. 115), underemployment (No. 142), average work and commute time (No. 148), transit-accessible workplaces, (No. 149), and industry variety (No. 149).
Transportation and housing persist as nagging issues in the Austin area. A June 2019 list placed Austin at No. 14 nationally and No. 1 in Texas for traffic congestion in major cities. And Austin reigns as the most expensive housing market among the state’s four largest metro areas. In October, the median home price in the Austin area climbed 7.4 percent to $327,500 compared with the same time a year earlier.
Despite Austin’s drawbacks, it still outranks Texas’ other big cities in the WalletHub study of the best places to find a job in 2020, including San Antonio (No. 68), Houston (No. 102), and Dallas (No. 111).