Forbes is famous for its lists, and after crunching a bunch of employment data to list the best cities for jobs, it's obvious that it likes Texas - a lot. Not only did it rank Austin as the best U.S. city in which to be hired, but Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas also made the top 10.
Actually, there are three lists, for small, medium and large cities, with 12 Texas cities in the top 10 among the three, including Odessa, Midland, San Angelo, Lubbock, Laredo, Corpus Christi, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and El Paso.
Texas cities are strong in oil and gas, technology and manufacturing. In January I wrote about reports by The Brookings Institution and the Milken Institute that also found a lot to like in Texas. Forbes' rankings, of course, are not specific to IT jobs, though there are various other ones out there. Job site CyberCoders put Houston ahead of Silicon Valley, and ranked Dallas at No. 4. Dice listed Dallas at No. 8 on the cities with the most jobs and Houston at No. 3 on the list of fastest-rising IT job markets.
A Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) earlier this year also lauded Austin and Houston for their ability to create "middle-skill" jobs, those that require two years of college or less. Though widely criticized in some quarters, the state's Texas Enterprise Fund has been highly successful in wooing companies to locate in the state. Since its inception in 2003, the fund has awarded more than $443 million in grants, creating more than 62,000 jobs and $15 billion in capital investments, state officials say.
Forbes notes that cuts in government spending have hurt Washington, D.C., and other cities traditionally with lots of federal spending, as well as state capitals, military towns and college towns. But growing technology centers - it ranked Salt Lake City, home to outposts of Adobe, Twitter and Electronic Arts, as No. 3 overall - and manufacturing centers are on the upswing.