Austinites proudly wear T-shirts that say “Keep Austin Weird” — something of a challenge as the city and surrounding areas grow in leaps and bounds. The Austin area, home of the South by Southwest festival and Dell Inc., has an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, compared with 7.8 percent for the nation. Its population continued to rise in 2012, to 1.8 million, and the area is supposed to generate about 25,000 new jobs in 2013, according to Austin-based Angelou Economics.
A high-tech job boost will come from Apple Inc., which is expanding its Austin campus with a new, 1 million-square-foot operations center that will be second in size only to its Cupertino (California) headquarters.
1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
2. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana
3. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
4. San Antonio, Texas
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas .
6. Washington, D.C. Metro Area
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
9. Portland, Oregon
10. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina
11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
12. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Bloomberg Rankings analyzed population and real (inflation-adjusted) data on gross domestic product for 360 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). MSAs were ranked on the increase in population and real GDP compound annual growth rate and given a point score from 1 to 100. The two ranks were added together and divided by 720, the highest possible total, to create the final score. The list was then winnowed to areas with at least 1 million residents as of 2011 that showed an increase in both population and real GDP from 2007 to 2011. Census population estimates for the ranking are as of July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2011.