Best Cities in Texas for Job Seekers

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by on July 21, 2013

The Lone Star state has had a good year for employment. The annual job growth rate is around 3%, up from 2.8% last year. Construction is expected to be a major industry force through the end of the year, and most other industries have reported consistent job growth in recent months. Texas’s low cost of living and diversity of employment opportunities make it an obvious choice if you’re looking for a job.

But which are the best cities in Texas for job seekers? We found the answer by analyzing U.S. Census data based on these questions:

1.  Is the city growing?  We assessed population growth of those 16 and over to ensure that the city is attracting workers.

2. Do people earn high salaries?  We included median income in the calculation.

3. Are most people employed?  We looked at the unemployment rate.

Check out our Cost of Living calculator for more information.

 Best Cities in Texas for Job Seekers

1. League City

League City is the largest city in Galveston County and is renowned for its beautiful marinas, which offer easy access to a variety of boating activities. The Johnson Space Center, located in nearby Houston, provides aerospace jobs, and other major industries include energy, medicine and tourism. League City’s unemployment rate was reported at 5.5% as of April 2013.

2. Allen

With strong population increases in recent years and a low unemployment rate to match (5.1% as of April 2013), Allen is a great city for job seekers. The biggest employer is the Allen Independent School District, making it a haven for education workers. Other major industries include medicine, government work and graphic design. Allen is just 12 miles from Dallas, making it a popular home for commuters.

3. Sugar Land

Sugar Land has the highest median income of the top ten, at $50,598. Despite its name, Sugar Land has been called the “Fittest City in Texas” several times as part of the Texas Round-Up program. Sugar Land has a diverse economy, with major industries present, like energy, engineering software and manufacturing. Large employers in Sugar Land include Fluor and Schlumberger. The city’s unemployment rate was 4.7% as of April 2013.

4. McKinney

Noted by the Census Bureau as a fast-growth city numerous times over the past decade, McKinney has seen its population more than double between 2000 and 2010. The city has a low unemployment rate of 5.8%, as of April 2013, and is a center for tech, medical and manufacturing companies. Major employers include Raytheon, Torchmark, StatLab and Manner Plastics. The McKinney Independent School District is also a large employer for the city.

5. Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie is a great city for defense and aviation workers. It was once home to American Airlines and North American Aviation facilities. Lockheed Martin, American Eurocopter, Bell Helicopter-Textron and Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division continue to be major employers in the area. The city’s unemployment rate was 6% as of April 2013.

6. Midland

As the central city of Midland County and the Midland Metro Area, as well as the Permian Basin, Midland’s economy is mostly driven by oil and energy. It has seen rapid population growth since the 1970s and continues to attract workers in the education, medicine, and energy industries. Major employers include Midland College, home to the McCormick Gallery, the Warren Equipment Company, Dawson Geophysical and the Midland Independent School District. Midland’s unemployment rate was a very low 3% as of April 2013.

7. Edinburg

Edinburg has the highest population growth rate in the top ten. Its population has nearly quadrupled since 1980. Major industries in Edinburg include finance, education, manufacturing, medicine and energy. It is home to the University of Texas Pan-American, a Hispanic-serving university. Edinburg’s unemployment rate was 6.9% in April 2013.

8. Irving

Irving is a major economic center in Texas attracting a huge variety of industries to the area. Companies like ExxonMobil, Archon Group, Commercial Metals Company and BlackBerry United States all have headquarters in Irving. Major employers include Verizon, Citigroup, Nokia and Allstate. The city is also home to the University of Dallas. Irving’s unemployment rate was 5.6% as of April 2013.

9. Bryan

Bryan’s business parks and downtown area are popular sites for businesses in retail, manufacturing and processing. The University of Texas A&M has a Health Science Center campus in Bryan and College Station, Texas, for biomedical research and education. The Center’s Clinical Learning Resource Center gives students hands-on experience with a hospital environment. Healthcare, education and government are the major industries in Bryan, with the University of Texas A&M, the Bryan Independent School District and the City of Bryan noted as large employers. Bryan’s unemployment rate was 5.1% as of April 2013.

10. Plano

Plano is the most populous city in the top ten and is also the ninth most populous city in Texas. It is consistently rated as a great place to live and is home to many companies in finance, technology, medicine and software. Robot Entertainment and McAfee have offices in Plano, and major employers include Bank of America Home Loans, Capital One and the Medical Center of Plano. Plano’s unemployment rate was 5.5% as of April 2013.

 

Rank City Population growth 2009-2011 Percent unemployed Median earnings for workers Overall score for job seekers
1 League City, Texas 14.1% 5.1% $48,356 81.1
2 Allen, Texas 10.3% 5.1% $44,828 73.1
3 Sugar Land, Texas -0.3% 4.7% $50,598 65.7
4 McKinney, Texas 6.0% 5.5% $40,628 62.0
5 Grand Prairie, Texas 14.5% 6.0% $29,767 61.9
6 Midland, Texas 1.7% 3.0% $29,904 59.0
7 Edinburg, Texas 19.4% 6.9% $21,050 56.9
8 Irving, Texas 9.0% 5.6% $29,016 55.8
9 Bryan, Texas 13.4% 5.1% $18,912 55.5
10 Plano, Texas -0.2% 5.5% $42,341 55.1

Data was obtained from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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  • LazerTown

    Would have been more interested in the rankings of the metro.

  • cinnamonowl

    Clearly written by someone who doesn’t know squat about Texas, and I say that as a transplant myself. Terrible advice here for a relocating job seeker. In fact, of this list, all of the cities are either in the Dallas-Fort
    Worth metroplex or greater Houston – except Edinburg and Bryan.

    The number one city here, League City, is a middle class bedroom community in Houston. While it is a nice town, it has few jobs of its own; a job seeker who moves to League City expecting to work nearby may be very disappointed. League City’s own promotional materials explain that they have less than 200 business establishments with 20 or more employees (and there’s no guarantee those employees all live in League City!). Only one establishment in League City – the local school district – has over 500 employees. There are 10 of these establishments in Galveston County, where League City is, and 310 in neighboring Harris County. Read further in the city’s own promotional list, and you’ll find that other than the city itself and an insurance firm, its biggest employers are Krogers, WalMart, and grocery chain HEB.

    So, this has really made me doubt all the information on NerdWallet. League City is an awesome bedroom community but its job prospects are mostly in retail, or in neighboring towns.