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Why Austin Leads the Nation in Economic Strength


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For the fourth straight month in a row, the great city of Austin, Texas has maintained its top spot in the economic health index in an analysis done by the Business Journal On Numbers division.

Analyzed from an 18-part formula, Austin’s economy is ranked #1 because of its success in private-sector job growth, low unemployment, earning, housing-price appreciation, retail activity and construction.

Factors Contributing to Austin’s Economic Strength

  1. Strong job growth. The number of private-sector jobs in the Austin area has ballooned by 11.0 percent since 2008. No other market has grown faster than 7.3 percent.
  2. Low unemployment. Only 12 major markets have jobless rates below 5.5 percent. Austin is at 5.3 percent.
  3. Healthy paychecks. Weekly earnings for private-sector workers have grown 7.6 percent in Austin during the past 12 months. That’s the ninth-largest increase among the 102 markets.
  4. Retail strength. Employment in Austin’s retail sector has grown by 8.2 percent in five years. Only Little Rock, Ark. (up 10.7 percent) has done better.
  5. Stable home values. The typical home has declined in value since 2008 in 92 of the 102 markets. Among the exceptions is Austin (up 4.7 percent).

Top 10 Cities on Austin Businesss Journal’s May Economic Index

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Provo, Utah
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Ogden, Utah
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  8. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  9. Salt Lake City, Utah
  10. Des Moines, Iowa

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