Austin Real Estate News

January 2018

With 2017 behind us, it’s time to think about fresh starts again. But whether that means a small change or a complete life overhaul, finding a new or better job will be a top resolution.

If that’s your mission for the new year, it’s a good time to be on the job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report, the national unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent while hiring is up.

College graduates, especially, will see a strong boost in their job prospects. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 4 percent more members from the Class of 2018 than from the previous graduating cohort.

But your luck of finding work depends largely on location. To help you with the job hunt, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 26 key indicators of job-market strength. They range from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary. Read on for our findings, additional insight from our panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.

November 2017

Veterans often face a host of challenges when re-entering civilian life. Despite Uncle Sam’s promises to provide health care as well as housing, employment and educational assistance upon their return from service, many are denied disability benefits while others cannot secure jobs or shelter.

Where veterans live can contribute to the problem. Although unemployment and homelessness have declined nationally for this group, such issues are simply worse in certain parts of America. In addition, veterans in many cities continue to suffer from long delays in mental-health treatment despite a $10 billion effort to expand veterans’ access to such care. In Phoenix, for instance, a veteran traumatized by the horrors of war must wait an average of 115 days before seeing a mental-health professional. Thousands lost their GI Bill education benefits in 2016 as a result of for-profit school closures.

To help military veterans find the best places in which to put down roots based on their status, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 17 key indicators of livability, affordability and veteran-friendliness. They range from share of military skill-related jobs to veteran income growth to availability of VA health facilities. Read on for our findings, expert commentary from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.

November 2017

In recent decades, the diffusion of digital technology into nearly every business and workplace, also known as “digitalization,” has been remaking the U.S. economy and the world of work. The “digitalization of everything” has at once increased the potential of individuals, firms, and society while also contributing to a series of troublesome impacts and inequalities, such as worker pay disparities across many demographics, and the divergence of metropolitan economic outcomes.

Authors

Mark Muro
Senior Fellow and Policy Director - Metropolitan Policy Program
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Sifan Liu
Research Assistant - Metropolitan Policy Program
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Jacob Whiton
Research Assistant - Metropolitan Policy Program
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Siddharth Kulkarni
Former Research Analyst - Metropolitan Policy Program
In light of that, this report presents a detailed analysis of changes in the digital content of 545 occupations covering 90 percent of the U.S. workforce in all industries since 2001. The analysis categorizes U.S. occupations into jobs that require high, medium or low digital skills and tracks the impacts of rapid change.

The full report concludes with implications of the key findings and suggests ways communities can work with firms and workers to spread the benefits of digitalization while mitigating its potentially harmful effects.

October 2017

A MagnifyMoney analysis looks at a decade of data to determine which communities are undergoing dynamic transformations, and which are standing still.

The cities that have changed the most in 10 years
“This place has changed” is a refrain you often hear from a city’s longtime residents. But change is a curious, inconstant thing; as some communities undergo great transformations, others seem frozen in time.

MagnifyMoney looked at nine elements of local change from 2006-2016 among the 50 largest metros in the United States, creating a Change Score (0-100) for each. The score factors in such measures as the changes in commute times, income, house prices, crime rates, building permits and more.

Change isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. Big growth in commute times and rents can be negative, but they can also be a function of positive developments like job and income growth. Similarly, places without as much change could be more attractive to people working their way up the salary ladder or those retirees on fixed incomes, offering more affordable housing and less congestion.

But change often brings underlying challenges to the forefront, prompting communities to make tough calls on things that could hamper positive transformations going forward, like diversification of industries, infrastructure investment and tax policy.

MagnifyMoney is highlighting these places to encourage discussion in communities dealing with rapid change.

October 2017

The 2017 Best Places for Millennials ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of key factors that are meaningful for millennials and young professionals. This grade takes into account key factors, such as access to bars and restaurants, affordability, and job opportunities, in an attempt to measure the appeal of an area for millennials. Learn where our data comes from.

August 2017

After toiling in the workplace for decades, it seems only natural to expect financial security in our golden years. But few of us can look forward to a cushy retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, six in 10 workers reported feeling at least somewhat confident that they’ll have adequate finances to retire comfortably, but only 18 percent reported a high level of confidence. Nearly four in 10, in fact, have little or no retirement savings whatsoever. Many are even worried about covering basic living expenses once they leave the workforce.

If such a large proportion of American workers cannot grow a nest egg for their future, what other options provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement? For some, the only solution is to keep working. The EBRI survey found that four in 10 workers today expect to retire at age 70, as opposed to the median expected retirement age of 65. The alternative? Relocate to an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle.

To help Americans plan an affordable retirement while maintaining the best quality of life, WalletHub’s analysts compared the retiree-friendliness of the 150 largest U.S. cities across 40 key metrics. Our data set ranges from cost of living to retired taxpayer-friendliness to availability of recreational activities. Read on for our findings, expert retirement advice and a full description of our methodology.

July 2017

College opens many doors. Besides providing invaluable cultural experiences and the opportunity to build lifelong connections, a college education can lead to better job opportunities and increase future earning potential. And the more degree holders earn, the more tax dollars they contribute over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

One way to strengthen an economy, the EPI suggests, is to attract well-paying employers “by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers.” In states where workers have the least schooling, for instance, the median wage is $15 an hour compared with $19 to $20 an hour in states where 40 percent or more of the working population hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Local governments appear to be catching on and maximizing the appeal of their cities to college graduates.

To determine where the most educated Americans are putting their degrees to work and thus are most valuable to their local economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across nine key metrics. Our data set ranges from share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to quality of the public school system to gender education gap. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.

May 2017

Deciding where to lay the foundation for a long and prosperous career can be a daunting task, especially for recent graduates entering the job market for the first time. After all, there are numerous factors — job-market saturation, housing affordability and commuter-friendliness, for instance — to consider about each prospective area.

But the process needn’t be that difficult or intimidating. WalletHub’s data team compared the relative market strength and overall livability of the 150 largest U.S. cities to help recent college graduates find the best cradles for their burgeoning careers. We examined each city based on 23 key metrics that range from the availability of entry-level jobs to monthly average starting salary to workforce diversity. A complete breakdown of our findings, a detailed methodology and expert career advice can be found below.

May 2017

What’s the best city in the US for job seekers?
It’s a difficult question to answer. After all, every job seeker is unique: For some, there’s no place like home, while for others the grass may always be greener elsewhere. That said, there are several key considerations most of us would agree are important, and today more data than ever is available to help us understand just how these factors combine to make a city stand out as a great place to live and work.
So what is the best city for job seekers? To find out, we asked four questions:
• How favorable is the local labor market to the job seeker?
• What’s the average salary, once adjusted for cost of living?
• How high do employers score for work-life balance in Indeed’s review database?
• How high do employers score for job security and advancement opportunities in Indeed’s review database?
After analyzing the data for the 50 metro areas with the most postings on Indeed, we calculated a percentile score for each key consideration. Next, our data science team did some serious number crunching, allowing us to synthesize all these results into a single Indeed City Score. The result? Indeed’s first ever list of best cities for job seekers.

May 2017

Americans are born with an entrepreneurial streak. It’s in our DNA. From Manifest Destiny and the Gold Rush to the Industrial Revolution and the Internet Age, intense periods of innovation have molded our economy and sparked important societal advancements.

Today, more than 15 million people in the U.S., or about 10 percent of the labor force, work for themselves. And there is always room in the market for new ideas, products, services and multi-million-dollar success stories — if one knows where to look.

In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs — from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers — maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub’s analysts compared the relative startup opportunities that exist in the 150 most populated U.S. cities. We did so using 18 key metrics, ranging from five-year business-survival rate to office-space affordability. Check out our findings, additional expert commentary and a detailed methodology below.

For a breakdown of smaller markets, check out WalletHub’s Best Small Cities to Start a Business ranking.