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Houston drops on best performing cities list, but future looks bright with more jobs

Houston skyline downtown at night
Houston dropped four spots from last year in the list of best performing cities, but its energy sector keeps it in the top 10, at No. 8.
Austin, Texas, skyline, downtown
Austin is back on top, thanks to a booming tech sector and heavy population growth.  Photo by Ed Schipul/Flickr
Justin Terveen Dallas skyline
Dallas ranked seventh on the list of best performing cities thanks to a diverse economy and strong job growth.  Photo by Justin Terveen
Houston skyline downtown at night
Austin, Texas, skyline, downtown
Justin Terveen Dallas skyline

In a new study examining the best performing cities in the United States — those booming metros where jobs are being created and sustained — Texas has once again flexed its muscle. Three cities in the Lone Star State rank in the top 10 and seven in the top 25.

Austin re-established itself as the top-performing city in the country after falling to second last year. Thanks to a booming tech sector and Austin’s chamber of commerce, the city and surrounding area rates among the best for job and wage growth.

 The report added that "Houston's energy infrastructure is set to expand further as worldwide demand for energy continues to grow." 

Dallas-Plano-Irving jumped up seven spots since last year to come in at No. 7, while Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown dropped four spots to sit right behind Dallas at No. 8. Dallas’ diverse economy and strong year-to-year growth from July 2012 to July 2013 helped boost it above Houston.

Meanwhile, Houston’s energy market continues to propel the region as more jobs pour into the city to satiate the demand created by oil and gas companies. The report added that "Houston's energy infrastructure is set to expand further as worldwide demand for energy continues to grow."

The four other Texas metros to make the top 25 are San Antonio-New Braunfels (12), Fort Worth-Arlington (16), Corpus Christi (17) and Laredo (22). The next best-represented states were Colorado and California, with four metros each. Provo-Orem, Utah, and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City round out the top three after Austin.

Milken Institute puts out this annual index, which includes measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros, but it does not factor in quality-of-life metrics such as commute times or housing costs. Employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality, according to the institute's website.

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