business

No. 8 Austin, Texas

Our number-eight pick is fun, funky and full of career opportunities.

Population: 1,533,263Income Growth: 7%Cost of Living Index: 94Median Household Income: $54,827Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 37%

Leave it to Austin to ruin the curve. While most cities around the country posted job layoffs in the past year, Austin added 3,300 jobs, the biggest bump in the country. The increase covered a broad swath, from professional services, education and hospitality to health care and government. Gains in those sectors more than offset losses in manufacturing and information technology -- though the unemployment rate in the area has crept up.

Why the solid showing amid general economic gloom? Give most of the credit to government and higher education. State government employs 170,000, a fifth of the city's workforce; the University of Texas at Austin alone employs more than 6,000 people. As for the private sector, tech companies remain a driving force.

Austin's economy isn't all wonk and no play: Its thriving music scene culminates in South by Southwest, a music festival in March that enriches the local economy by more than $100 million per year.

NEXT: No. 9 Flagstaff

HOME | 12345678910 | Best Cities Center

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
How to Calculate the Break-Even Age for Taking Social Security
social security

How to Calculate the Break-Even Age for Taking Social Security

When it comes to maximizing your Social Security benefits, there are many elements to consider. One factor that can be especially enlightening is your…
August 30, 2021
Spend Without Worry in Retirement
Financial Planning

Spend Without Worry in Retirement

Fears of running out of money prevent many retirees from tapping the nest egg they’ve worked a lifetime to save. With these strategies, you can genera…
August 30, 2021

Recommended

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of
careers

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of

It’s tough to change, but your job could depend on it. Be flexible in your career goals – and talk with your kids about their own aspirations, because…
September 13, 2021
The Pandemic Pet Problem
Coronavirus and Your Money

The Pandemic Pet Problem

Lisa Gretebeck used telemedicine and other creative ways to handle a surge of new cat and dog patients.
August 29, 2021
New Perks at Work, for a Price
Employee Benefits

New Perks at Work, for a Price

The pandemic and an increasingly diverse workforce have led to more benefits options for workers.
August 26, 2021
Considering Retiring? Try a Sabbatical Instead
careers

Considering Retiring? Try a Sabbatical Instead

With more businesses offering this perk, sabbaticals aren't just for professors. If you can take a sabbatical, that time off can be a way to test what…
August 24, 2021