Austin takes the No. 1 spot in the country for job growth potential, according to NewGeography.com. Rounding out the top five are Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth-Arlington, and Dallas. Overall, the job market outlook in Texas is brighter than anywhere else in the country. Austin earned the top spot by posting a one percent job growth rate in 2008 and its long term potential to create new jobs. Although one percent does not seem like much progress, it is much better than a lot of other major metropolitan areas.

In past years, many fast-growing economies in major cities would create new jobs at three to five percent annually. While not all cities were growing at this rate, in fact some were losing jobs or staying stagnant, growth was within reach or at least on the horizon. In 2008, a two percent annual growth rate was considered a home run.

While the forecast seems grim, Austin and the rest of Texas are growing slowly but surely in the face of the recession. According to a report prepared by the General Contractors of America, the economic impact of stimulus investment in Texas would add $2.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product and could allow for more than 8,000 construction jobs to be created. This kind of growth would result in the increase of new homes in Austin and have a positive effect on Austin home builders. Not to mention the impact it would have on the growth of Round Rock real estate and the construction of new homes in Cedar Park.

Austin’s ranking as the number one city in the country for job growth potential is a definite sign that the local economy is still strong despite the national recession. The fact that Texas claimed the top five cities on the list is significant because it shows that statewide, the job market is sturdy and that Texas is a good place to seek employment potential.

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April 16, 2009

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