While much of the U.S. economy may seem like it is on a perpetual roller coaster, experiencing sluggish job growth and stagnant wages, the Texas economy is plowing full steam ahead. The Texas Workforce Commission just reported in March that the total non-agricultural employment in Texas expanded by an estimated 80,600 positions in February, more than any other state, adding 125,500 jobs in the past three months.

Additionally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the U.S. average for more than six years straight. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area has been fairing particularly well, according to the Bureau’s data, with the area experiencing a 3.7 percent increase in the workforce between January 2012 to January 2013, adding well over 100,000 jobs.

James Quintero, senior fiscal policy analyst, Texas Public Policy Foundation (credit: Ilene Jacobs)

James Quintero, senior fiscal policy analyst, Texas Public Policy Foundation (photo courtesy of James Quintero)

“The Texas job market is the envy of the nation and it continues to outperform other similar-sized states,” said James Quintero, Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The region’s vibrant and diverse economy, coupled with a relatively low cost of living and low unemployment rate, make it attractive to families, businesses and job seekers alike.”

Forbes obviously agrees, placing five Texas metropolitan areas in its top 10 list of the best cities in the nation for good jobs. Guess which city took first place on the list? Here’s a hint, it wasn’t Houston.

With a 5.9 percent unemployment rate and a $39,548 per-capita income, Dallas came out the strong winner. Additionally, Forbes reported that Dallas’ job growth rate, which includes Irving and Plano, is expected to expand by 2.8 percent over the next five years, adding more than 300,000 jobs on top of the already 2.1 million. These aren’t just low paying jobs being generated. Many of the area’s jobs are paying wages above $16 an hour in industries ranging from financial services and information technology to telecommunications and manufacturing.

“The region has seen a huge influx of new people, new jobs and new investment over the last several years, helping to create one of the most diverse economies in the state,” adds Quintero. “It’s not hard to understand why Dallas came out on top. Texas’ low-tax, limited government approach has done wonders for the state economy and few places know that better than the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.

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