Look to Texas for Middle Class Job Growth

Oct 28, 2013

The famous "Greetings from Austin" mural. Austin, TX produced 17,000 middle-skill jobs since 2007. Photographer: Thomas Hawk via Flickr. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.

Geographer Joel Kotkin writes that middle class jobs in major metropolitan areas are still recovering after the recession:

Three years since employment hit bottom, the U.S. still has 2 million fewer mid-income jobs than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2007; half of that deficit is in the largest metro areas.

However, he notes that the bright spots are in the Lone Star State:

There are eight metro areas that boast more mid-level jobs today than in 2007. The list is dominated by Texas cities, led by Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, which has added 17,000 mid-skill jobs — an increase of 7.6%  – among the 95,000 new jobs generated in the region. The largest numeric increase is in Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, which has 60,810 more mid-skilled jobs, up 7.4%. The Houston metro area also has easily led the nation in overall job growth since 2007, adding a net 280,000 positions.

Texas metro areas also come in third and fourth: in San Antonio-New Braunfels, middle-income employment rose 3.4%; in Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington , 3.1%.

Texas’ success in producing middle class jobs partly stems from “a strong energy economy.” In addition, the state has the fifth-most favorable business climate and the 2nd-best overall economic performance according to the U.S. Chamber’s Enterprising States report.

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