Ask nearly any expert and they will tell you that it is the technology and energy sectors that are driving growth in many American cities. That is certainly true of Texas, which is always on everyone’s list of most economically viable and fastest-growing states. The Milken Institute’s list of Best Performing Cities released last week had several Texas cities at or near the top. Once again, Texas leads the nation.
The Milken Institute list ranks cities based on “data from both long- and short-term growth in jobs, wages, salaries, and technological output,” according to Business Insider. And right at the top is a familiar name
Austin and San Marcos were No. 1 on the list. “The top spot goes to the metro area of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, a rising technology center,” said Business Insider. “Austin came in second with job growth over the last five years, due in large part to a diversified technology base.
“Homegrown tech companies like Dell, National Instruments, and Flextronics complement incoming companies like Apple and IBM (which both now have large bases in Austin), as well as start-ups coming out of the University of Texas Campus. The city is extremely business-friendly with a low tax, low regulation environment that makes it attractive to out-of-state firms.
Houston was No. 7 on America’s Best Performing Cities List. “Houston’s growth has been fueled by the boom in oil and gas exploration,” they said. “Shale gas exploration in particular is creating jobs in multiple areas. It’s lead to a 10,500 job increase in professional and scientific services while administrative, machinery, and manufacturing have also seen job gains.
“Job growth is the seventh strongest in the country over the last five years, largely because Houston’s energy infrastructure is only getting more developed. Multiple companies are building export terminals, fractionaters, and ethane crackers. Expect a huge increase in engineering and construction jobs as a result.
Dallas tied for the No. 7 spot on the Best Performing Cities list with one of the most “diverse economies in the U.S., with strong establishments in tech, aerospace, telecoms, and financial services,” they said. “Population growth is strong, housing sales are rising, financial services added 5,000 jobs from 2011-12, and employment at corporate headquarters increased by more than 4,000 works over the last five years.
San Antonio-New Braunfels
San Antonio–New Braunfels was No. 12 on the Milken list thanks in part to their strong job growth—particularly San Antonio’s depth in medical and oil and gas. “Home to one of the largest medical facilities in the nation, San Antonio has seen strong job growth from military medical operations,” they said.
“Ambulatory health-care services created more than 12,000 jobs over the last five years. San Antonio is also home to the largest oil and gas development in the world in the Eagle Ford Shale. Record drilling levels and high-yield wells are pumping new jobs into energy and related sectors.”
Here is some additional data supporting the Milken Institute’s list: