Since the Recession, the U.S. economy has slowly and steadily climbed as unemployment rates have dropped. But growth is not even - some cities and regions have fared better than others. The successes have used their available resources, leadership and initiative to attract new talent and promote business. To that end, few have performed better across the board than Austin, Texas.
The capitol of the Lone Star State ranked sixth on the CareerBuilder index of the top labor markets in the U.S. with a low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
"Few cities have performed better across the board than Austin, Texas."
"We know the economy is improving nationwide, but the index helps identify regions and cities driving the recovery, as well as those struggling to rebound," Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, explained to Forbes. "Metros with low unemployment and growth in good-paying occupations are ranked high, as well as metros projected to grow through the end of the decade and currently seeing new job openings on the rise."
Plus, Austin has the cultural identity to attract everyone from recent grads just entering the workplace to folks in the midst of a career change.
"Austin is the fastest growing technology market in United States. Since 2001, tech companies have expanded employment by 41%, with the number of STEM workers increasing by 17%. Known for it's eclectic culture and live music scene, Austin is quickly becoming a tech mecca. With large technology companies from the West Coast including Cisco, Facebook and Google opening offices and others like Dimensional Funds Advisors and HID Global fully relocating their headquarters, the future is extremely bright in Central Texas," explained Cody Cox, Division Director of Beacon Hill Technologies in Austin.
"Operation Austin" pairs veterans with new jobs
Additionally, the Austin Chamber of Commerce has rolled out a program to help U.S. military veterans find jobs outside of the common law enforcement sector, according to Tech Cocktail. The program, called "Operation Austin," hopes to take advantage of the growing number of vets who want to settle down in Central Texas.
"Austin is in need of trained talent to power our high-growth IT and healthcare sectors," Jeff Browning, 2014 Vice Chair of Talent Development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. "We continue to look for creative and innovative ways to bring talent to Central Texas, and utilizing this untapped talent pool is a win for both Fort Hood and Central Texas communities."
According to Fort Hood data, 99 percent of commissioned officers hold at least a Bachelor's degree. Thousands of soldiers hold lesser degrees or have a background in IT and healthcare. Austin will be taking advantage of an often-underutilized labor resource by recruiting these veterans.
Tech field grows in Texas
It isn't just veterans that are finding Austin to be a strong destination. Increasingly, IT companies are calling Central Texas home, according to Computer World. In fact, by 2017, the Austin Technology Council expects 9,000 new tech jobs to be available in Austin - or the "Silicon Hills," as ATC head Julie Huls calls the city. Those openings are in addition to the 4,700 tech companies already located there.
Companies prefer the regions lack of natural disasters, comfortable temperatures, affordable living and access to education. But more important - at least for younger generations - is the cultural core. And that's where Austin really sets itself apart.
"They want to live in a vibrant urban core," one tech CEO noted to Computer World, "with high-quality and affordable housing, plenty of restaurants and bars and music clubs and other entertainment venues, good parks and bike paths and other outdoor recreation, and good public transit options."
Those are aspects of any great city - and with the growing employment opportunities in tow, Austin is rounding into top destination.
This content brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.