Article Originally Published 3/5/20 at The Daily Texan
While the weather in Austin is pretty hot, The Wall Street Journal said the city’s job market is even hotter.
For the second year in a row, Austin ranked No. 1 in the United States for its job market, said Eric Morath, labor and economics reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Morath said the Journal ranked metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people using five metrics: unemployment, labor force participation, job growth, labor force growth and wage growth. Rankings were based on data collected by financial intelligence company Moody’s Analytics.
“The great thing about Austin is it’s a pretty diverse economy,” Morath said. “It’s well-known for its tech scene and of course its music scene … There’s a number of industries from construction to health care that are growing.”
Morath said Austin topped the rankings because of its low unemployment rate of 2.7% in comparison to the national 3.6% rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Journal ranked Austin No. 3 in the country for wage growth because of its 5% pay increase since 2019. Michael Powell, director of the Engineering Career Assistance Center, helps students with career planning and development. Powell said Austin has a vibrant employment scene with leading companies such as Apple, Dell and Oracle.
“We have a lot of prominent employers … that get a lot of attention, do a lot of hiring and are doing quite well in this economy,” Powell said.
Powell said the University is an attractive destination for employers.
“When employers come here, they know they’re going to get high-quality students in terms of the education they’re getting and the ambition they have,” Powell said.
Austin’s job market benefits students and graduates with great internship and full-time job opportunities, Powell said.
“Austin’s job market certainly makes it attractive to UT students,” Powell said. “A lot of UT-Austin students don’t come from Austin, (but from) other parts of Texas. When they get to Austin, a lot of those students fall in love and decide they wouldn’t mind staying.”
Coming from Dallas, business freshman Nandini Patel said her parents encouraged her to apply to UT because of Austin’s successful job market.
“My parents were like, ‘Wow, Austin is a great place for you to start a future,’” Patel said. “Most students end up staying in Austin because they feel they have better job opportunities here.”
Charisse Bodisch, senior vice president of economic development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said Austin’s culture helps her bring employers to the city.
“We have a wide diversity of jobs and a wide diversity of industries,” Bodisch said. “Because of that, more people have the opportunity to get a job regardless of what their skill set or educational levels might be.”
Patel said she would be interested in staying in Austin for accounting or real estate jobs. She also said Austin is attractive to job seekers because of its unique culture.
“What sets Austin apart is it has that sort of ‘It Factor,”’ Morath said. “It also has points of stability, like a big research university and a state capital. It’s no doubt that Austin is on the map as a place for people to move.”
Cover Photo Credit: Amna Ijaz, Daily Texan Staff