Study: Austin, Plano Among the Best 15 Cities for Jobs


Hiring sign in window. | Image from Gwengoat

Plano ranked among the fifteen best cities to find full-time employment, partly because of the disability-friendliness of employers and its low share of workers in poverty, at less than three percent, according to a new study.

“Aside from having high earning residents, Plano is also an affordable place to live,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub.

The 2022 WalletHub Best Places to Find a Job report found that Plano, which came in at No. 11 on the list, has a high median annual income, low annual transportation costs, and family friendliness.

“The median annual income in Plano is $87,308, which represents the median annual household income adjusted for the cost of living,” Gonzalez told The Dallas Express in an interview.

That’s compared to $48,821 for Dallas, which is No. 57 on the list of 182 cities, followed by Garland at No. 67 and Arlington at No. 79.

“All these Texas cities ranking in the top half are an indication that the state’s economy is strong, and that its job market is healthy,” Gonzalez commented.

WalletHub data further found that Fort Worth ranked in the bottom half at No. 94.

“Even though Fort Worth is among the fastest-growing cities, it’s not a great place to find a job because it lacks good job opportunities with employee benefits and employment growth is very slow,” Gonzalez said. “We determined how good a place Fort Worth is for finding a job, as well as the other cities, by comparing them across two key categories: job market and socio-economics.”

At No. 124, Houston ranked even lower than Fort Worth.

“Houston ranks in the bottom half because of its low number of job opportunities, high unemployment rate, low score for employment outlook, low retirement access and participation, low access to employee benefits, low number of apprentice trainee job postings, and high share of workers in poverty,” Gonzalez added.

On the other side of the spectrum, Austin, at No. 5, outperformed Plano.

“Austin ranked fifth because of the presence of work-share programs, the disability-friendliness of employers and its dating friendliness,” Gonzalez said. “Other areas where Austin ranked high include the monthly average starting salary, the share of engaged workers, and the number of 4+ star full-time job opportunities.”

To catch up with the top three cities in WalletHub’s 2022 Best Places to Find a Job, Plano would need to have a lower automation risk, more 4+ star full-time job opportunities, and more apprentice-trainee job postings, according to Gonzalez.

“It should also have a better transit score, lower annual transportation costs, and a higher vaccination rate,” Gonzalez added.

Overall, Columbia, Maryland, landed the top spot, followed by Salt Lake City, Utah, according to WalletHub data.

“Columbia ranked first because of its employment outlook, the presence of work-share programs, the existence of a salary history ban, and the low share of workers in poverty at 3.11%,” Gonzalez said.

“The job market in Salt Lake City is among the strongest because of the number of job opportunities including 4+ star full-time jobs, the low unemployment rate, the city’s employment outlook, the existence of a salary history ban, and the large share of apprentice-trainee jobs posted,” Gonzalez stated.

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