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Austin named hottest job market in U.S. according to Wall Street Journal

Austin named hottest U.S. job market according to Wall Street Journal

Austin skyline downtown at night
Austin is the nation's hottest job market for the second year in a row. Texas Wide Open for Business/Facebook

For the second year in a row, Austin tops the Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the hottest job markets among major U.S. metro areas.

To determine the nation's top markets, the WSJ teamed up with Moody’s Analytics to grade the labor markets in all 381 of the country’s metro areas. The ranking takes into account five metrics: unemployment rate, workforce participation rate, job growth rate, workforce growth rate, and wage growth rate. 

Austin’s unemployment rate sits below the national average, the data shows, while its rates for workforce participation, job growth, workforce growth, and wage growth all stand above the national averages.

“Austin — a tech hub and college town — remains attractive to workers thanks to low unemployment and high wage growth,” says the WSJ, who published the ranking February 24.

Among metro areas with at least 1 million residents, Austin holds down the No. 1 spot based on the Moody’s Analytics data. Nashville comes in second, followed by Denver (No. 3); Seattle (No. 4); and Seattle, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City (all tied at No. 5).

In highlighting Austin, the WSJ singles out Apple’s construction of a $1 billion campus in Northwest Austin that eventually will house about 15,000 workers. About 7,000 people work at the existing Apple campus here. Aside from Apple, tech giants that are expanding in Austin include Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Indeed.

“Austin’s business-friendly climate and massive talent pool aren’t the only things that make our region attractive to job creators and job seekers,” Mike Rollins, president and CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, says in a statement provided to CultureMap. “Our incredible quality of life — the live music, great food, and beautiful natural scenery — sets us apart from other markets. We’re always excited to speak with job creators who want to create jobs and contribute to our prosperous economy.”

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth appears at No. 9 on the WSJ's list of the hottest major job markets, with San Antonio at No. 13 and Houston at No. 21.