Texas is among US best cities for young professionals

Francesca Levy of Forbes, writes, university valedictorians, overachievers and would-be entrepreneurs across the country graduated this month into a bleak economic landscape. Faced with 9.5 percent national unemployment, even the most ambitious young people are thinking carefully about how to find their best shot at success.

Our advice? Consider moving to Houston, Texas, Washington D.C., or Minneapolis, Minn. These three cities top Forbes’ fourth-annual list of best cities for young professionals—places where ambitious college grads can get a strong start on a high-powered career.

“The Lone Star shines!”, states Forbes: There are good prospects for ambitious young professionals across the country, but Texas dominates our list, boasting three of the top 10 spots. Because of its business-friendly environment and abundance of oil money, 14 of the country’s largest companies (as measured by market capitalization) are based in our No. 1 city, Houston. Only New York, N.Y., which ranks No. 4 on our list, boasts more big employers. Houston also shines thanks to high average incomes and a concentration of grads from elite colleges—and not just from local Rice University, but from across the country.

No. 6 city Dallas, where the technology and energy sectors boost the local economy, promises a healthy $63,000 median salary for college graduates. Austin, Texas, the seat of state government and a major recipient of government spending, makes the list at number 10. The city’s 7 percent unemployment rate is well below the national average. Texans in these cities have reason to feel more confident about their prospects than in metros that were harder hit by the housing crisis.

“In Austin and Dallas job security concerns are probably less than in other places,” says James P. Gaines, research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “That’s mainly because of the belief that the economy in Texas is not as subject to major implosion that maybe some other areas are susceptible to.”

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