Originally Posted: May 15, 2017
Dallas is called the Big D for a reason. Bigger, better, best: that’s the Dallas mindset. From the gigantic Cowboys stadium in Arlington to the burgeoning northern suburbs to the posh Arts District downtown, Dallasites are reinventing their metropolis almost daily. The proposed urban park along the Trinity River, my Dallas friends remind me, will be 11 times bigger than New York’s Central Park.
Here’s something else for them to boast about: the Dallas-Plano-Irving metropolitan area ranks first this year on our list of the Best Cities For Jobs.
It’s a region that in many ways is the polar opposite of the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, which have dominated our ranking for the last few years. (They still place second and eighth this year, respectively, among the largest 70 metropolitan areas, though San Jose is down sharply from second place last year.)
Unlike the tech-driven Bay Area, Dallas’ economy has multiple points of strength, including aerospace and defense, insurance, financial services, life sciences, data processing and transportation. Employment in the metro area has expanded 20.3% over the past five years and 4.2% last year, with robust job creation in professional and business services, as well as in a host of lower-paid sectors like retail, wholesale trade and hospitality.
According to Southern Methodist University’s Klaus Desmet and Collin Clark, Dallas’s success stems in part from the fact that it isn’t looking to appeal to the elite “creative class,” but to middle-class workers and the companies and executives who employ them. Dallas attracts both foreign and domestic migrants, particularly from places like California, where housing is, on an income-adjusted basis, often three times as expensive. This has had much to do with the relocation to the area of such companies as Jacobs Engineering, Toyota, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. READ MORE